By Sade Williams
Arik Air, West and Central Africa’s largest airline, has won another accolade with the award of West African Airline of the Year bestowed on it at the Ghana Aviation Awards 2016 held in Accra on Friday, July 29, 2016.
The special recognition award, according to Ghana Aviation Awards Events Director, Richard Abbey Jnr, was conferred on Arik Air because of its achievement in airline business leadership and commitment to safety.
The impressive award ceremony held at Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra was a gathering of the cream of aviation personalities in West Africa and a celebration of excellence in the industry.
The West African Airline of the Year Award is a crowning glory for Arik Air’s eight years of operation in Ghana and the rest of the region which began with the inauguration of flights to Accra in January 2008.
Today, Arik Air operates from Lagos to 10 West and Central African cities, namely Accra (Ghana), Cotonou (Benin), Monrovia (Liberia), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire), Banjul (Gambia), Dakar (Senegal), Douala (Cameroon), Luanda (Angola) and Libreville (Gabon).
The airline is the first African carrier to create a hub at Kotoka International Airport, Accra where flights from Lagos and Abuja arrive into Accra within a few minutes of each other and then depart onwards to other West African cities from Accra non-stop.
Arik Air operates to six cities non-stop from Accra which include, Freetown (3 weekly), Banjul (4 weekly), Dakar (3 weekly), Monrovia (3 weekly), Lagos (3 times daily) and Abuja (daily).
Speaking on the award, Arik Air’s Chief Commercial Officer, Suraj Sundaram said: “This year marks the tenth anniversary celebration for Arik Air as the largest airline operating in West and Central Africa, so it is very encouraging to receive this award which demonstrates the increasing recognition not only from the travelling public but also from industry partners. We are still a young company and we see ourselves as a major contributor to the economies of West African states by continually improving and expanding our service offering in the region”.
Arik Air is Nigeria and West 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 28 state-of-the art regional, medium haul and long haul aircraft including two Airbus A330-200.
The airline currently serves 18 destinations across Nigeria as well as Accra (Ghana), Banjul (Gambia), Dakar (Senegal), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Monrovia (Liberia), Cotonou (Benin Republic), Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire), Douala (Cameroon), Luanda (Angola), Libreville (Gabon), London Heathrow (UK), Johannesburg (South Africa) and New York JFK (USA).
The airline operates a combined number of about 120 daily flights from its hubs in Lagos and Abuja, and is West and Central Africa’s fastest growing airline.