Nigeria's Arik eyes Dubai link as 2013 traffic jumps a fifth

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Nigerian carrier Arik Air lifted passenger numbers almost a fifth to 2.75 million in 2013 and is plotting new routes to Abidjan and Dubai for this year.

Passenger numbers were up 18.6% last year compared with 2012. Arik Air managing director Chris Ndulue says: "The figures for the period just ended are very encouraging and reflect the steady growth that we have been experiencing since launching our operations in 2006. We have gone through a rapid expansion over the years while the last two years have been used to consolidate on the new markets."

The Nigerian carrier operates a fleet of 26 aircraft, including its first Bombardier CRJ1000 which it took delivery of at the end of last year, operates out of Lagos and Abuja.

“During 2014, the airline plans to increase its market share in Nigeria," adds Ndulue. "With the addition of three new aircraft to our fleet last year, we are set to continue our expansion programme by launching new routes to Abidjan and Dubai before the end of the second quarter.”

Emirates already operates double-daily flights from Lagos to Dubai and has just announced plans to begin a daily service linking Dubai with the Nigerian cities of Abuja and Kano.