NEW YORK, Dec. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Arik Air, West and Central Africa's largest commercial carrier, celebrated the fifth year anniversary of offering direct flights from New York's John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport to Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos this week.
To mark the milestone, Arik Air upgraded five lucky economy passengers to the airlines premier class cabin, featuring lie flat seats, 75 inches of leg room and 17 inch television screens. Additionally, all passengers traveling from JFK on the day of the anniversary were treated to pieces of anniversary cake prior to departure and a souvenir commemorative certificate signed by Dr. Michael Arumemi-Ikhide, the airlines CEO, stating that they had flown on the anniversary flight.
Arik Air was the first Nigerian airline to provide scheduled flights to the U.S in over a decade, when it started operations from JFK on November 30, 2009. To date, Arik Air has carried over 100,000 passengers between JFK and Murtala Mohammed International and is the only airline to offer a direct route.
Robert Brunner, Executive VP Arik Air USA, said: "We are extremely pleased to have reached this milestone. We launched the New York to Lagos route five years ago to meet the increasing number of business and leisure passengers requiring a direct route between the two cities. The route is particularly popular around this time of year during the festive season - with up to three flights available per week. As U.S interest in the African economy continues to increase, we look forward to the opportunities this will present Arik Air."
Arik Air operates a new A340-500 on the New York, JFK to Lagos route, flying three times a week (Monday, Thursday and Saturday). The Airbus is a two class configuration with 36 premier class seats and 201 in economy class.
By the end of 2013, Arik Air flew over 13 million passengers across its expanding network of 19 domestic, 12 regional and four long-haul destinations; spanning from Lagos to New York's JFK, London's Heathrow, Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo International Airport and Dubai's International Airport.
Key Arik Air milestones include:
- International payments - Arik Air expanded its mobile commerce platform to accept international payments. Guests from anywhere in the world can now access the Mobile Arik Air Site, search for tickets, select flights and pay using their VISA Credit and Debit cards, as well as MasterCard Debit and Credit cards. The Mobile platform was introduced as part of an ongoing revamp of Arik's technology offering.
- Launch of loyalty program - The airline launched a frequent flyer program, aligning its offering with the industry's foremost airlines in the process. The Arik Affinity Wings program offers a selection of benefits designed to reward guests for their loyalty by giving them the opportunity to earn miles on domestic, regional and long-haul flights. Information and signing up is easily available at www.arikaffinitywings.com
- Sponsorships - Since launching in the US in 2009, Arik Air remains dedicated to partnering and serving the US community through sponsoring a variety of organizations and events. These collaborations range from partnerships with professional and educational programs, beauty pageants, universities and concerts.
- Industry awards and recognition - Arik Air continues to win international awards around the globe. In 2013, Arik Air won the award for the Best Security and Safety Conscious Airline in West and Central Africa for the second consecutive year at the 9th Annual Security Watch Africa Awards held in the Ghana. Arik Air was given the award based on the airline's commitment to high standards of security and safety in its operations. The same year, the airline was presented with an award for the Development of Responsible Tourism within Africa by the African Travel Association (ATA), the leading organization for African Travel and Tourism.
- IATA member - In 2011, Arik Air became an official member of International Air Transport Association (IATA). The airline is the only West African airline with USA/Federal Aviation Administration accreditation allowing it to operate its own flights directly into the US.
About Arik Air
Arik Air is West and Central Africa's largest airline, and operates mainly from two hubs at Murtala Mohammed Airport Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja. It operates a fleet of 27 state-of-the art regional, medium haul and long haul aircrafts including two Airbus A340-500 making the airline the first operator of this particular type of wide-bodied aircraft in Africa. The airline currently serves 19 destinations in Nigeria and flies to 12 international destinations including London Heathrow (UK) and New York JFK (USA). The airline operates a combined number of over 120 daily flights from its hubs, and has been Africa's fastest growing airline for the last two years.
About C.Moore Media
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CONTACT: Press Contact: Claudine Moore Claudine@cmooremedia.com Tel: +1 646 489 6632 Source: C Moore Media