Arik gradually sees its operations return to normal with the resumption of Uyo and Calabar flights

NIGERIA'S largest indigenous airline Arik Air is gradually getting back on its feet after announcing that it will resume flights to Calabar and Uyo over the Christmas period starting from December 15.


Once the pride of the Nigerian aviation industry, Arik Air used to not only ply most airports in Nigeria but also flew to London's Heathrow Airport on a daily basis. However, in February this year, it ceased all international operations and reduced its domestic operations after running into financial difficulties.


Since then, the Nigerian government has been seeking to revive the airline either by selling it or converting it into a national carrier. Gradually getting back to its previous state, Arik has announced that it will be resuming flight operations on the Abuja-Calabar and Abuja-Uyo routes as from December 15.


Arik spokesman Ola Adebanji, said the airline was increasing its capacity ahead of Christmas and New Year celebrations to enable customers celebrate the season with their families and friends. Traditionally, Christmas has been the busiest period for Arik Air as most Nigerians travel to their states of origin over the festive period.


Mr Adebanji said: “The capacity increase which will boost our key domestic routes, especially in the southeast and south-south zones, takes effect from December 15 to run through January14, 2018. The main highlights of the new schedule are the resumption of Abuja to Calabar and Abuja to Uyo routes which were suspended earlier in the year.


“Arik Air will be flying daily from Abuja to Uyo and five times a week from Abuja to Calabar. Similarly, the airline has increased its frequencies between Lagos to Calabar, Lagos to Uyo, Lagos to Enugu, Lagos to Owerri, Abuja to Enugu to daily flights."


He added that Arik will operate the Lagos to Asaba route five times weekly during the period. According to Mr Adebanji, customers that want to fly Arik Air on the Lagos-Port Harcourt route now have an early morning 7 am departure from Port Harcourt and an evening one from 5pm from Lagos.