In line with its expansion drive, Arik Air has commenced its inaugural flight to Abidjan, capital of Ivory Coast on Monday, February 22, kicking off flight services to Francophone countries in West and Central Africa with planned establishment of a hub in Cotonou, Benin Repubic.
According to the airline, the reason behind this is to connect the sub- region’s biggest economies Nigeria and Ivory Coast by tapping on the growing passenger traffic in that route and to help businessmen, investors and government officials connect the two countries with more reliable flight connections that can only be provided by the Nigerian airliner.
More than three million Nigerians live in Ivory Coast with their families and trade between the two countries is estimated to have risen above N200 billion in 2014, so with effective flight connection it is expected that business between Nigeria and Ivory Coast would grow.
According to Deputy Managing Director, Arik Air, Captain Ado Sanusi, the move would facilitate intra African trade with easy flight operations.
“This shows how Arik is expanding, going into West and Central Africa and connecting both the Anglophone and Francophone countries. We will start with four times a week operation and later go into daily flights. We invite our guest to come and see the product we are offering. We are going to use one of the Bombardier CRJ 900 on the route and eventually we go into B737-800,” he said.