In April 2006, Arik Air was born, supplanting Nigeria Airways Limited in Lagos. The first commercial vehicle to fly was the Bombardier CRJ 900 aircraft, and by December 2008, the Airbus A340-500 was launched, flying between Lagos and London’s Heathrow. The Airbus was unique to Arik Air’s arsenal of planes because it offers flat beds and 17-inch monitors for its first-class passengers. In addition, these planes have a communal space, providing a nice change of scenery for bored and weary flyers with its sofas and bar lounge.
By 2009, Arik Air expanded service on the continent from Lagos to Sierra Leone, Senegal, Ghana, Liberia, and the Gambia and also holds the distinction of being the only nonstop flight between New York and Nigeria. Today, Arik Air serves 21 locations in Nigeria and 33 locations without.
Since its inception, the airline company has won the International Quality Summit Award for Excellence and Business Prestige and the Best Security and Safety Conscious Airline in Nigeria. NewsOne spoke with Vice President of Arik Air’s America division Robert Brunner about why the airline carrier soars above its competitors and whether it is true that one can get a bite of authentic African cuisine en route.
NewsOne: How important are passengers to the company?
Robert Brunner: Customers are of the utmost importance to Arik Air. Without passengers, we don’t have a business. Our focus is customer safety, security, and comfort. Everything we do — from safety and security to catering and marketing — is done with the customer at the forefront of our thinking. We want to provide our passengers with the best possible experience with each and every interaction they have with Arik Air.
NewsOne: How does Arik distinguish itself from other airplane carriers?
RB: We are distinguishable from our competitors in a number of very distinct ways:
- We are the only airline to fly from New York JFK non stop to West Africa.
- Arik Air is the biggest and fastest-growing airline in West and Central Africa.