AFRICA: Two Nigerian airlines to start US flights

Two Lagos-based airlines, Arik Air and Virgin Nigeria, will start flying direct to the US this year. Harold Demurin, the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), said that the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted waiver to the domestic airlines. Demurin said Arik, Virgin Nigeria and Bellview airlines, which was earlier designated […]


Two Lagos-based airlines, Arik Air and Virgin Nigeria, will start flying direct to the US this year.

Harold Demurin, the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), said that the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted waiver to the domestic airlines.

Demurin said Arik, Virgin Nigeria and Bellview airlines, which was earlier designated for the route, had almost completed all the requirements to lease aircraft from an American-recognised Category One country and with the acquired aircraft they would be able to start operations to the US.

"They must get an aircraft from a country that is already Category One. So that’s what they are doing right now and I believe that Arik has already given a name of the airline it will use, I believe Bellview has done the same and also Virgin Nigeria,"he said.

He said one of the greatest achievements recorded this year in the aviation sector is the influx of new generation aircraft into the country and promised to get the much talked-about Category One status for the country from the FAA next year.

North American Airlines currently flies direct to New York while Delta Airlines, which recently began operations in Nigeria, flies direct to Atlanta, Georgia with a plan to also fly directly to New York from June 2008. The destinations of Arik and Virgin Nigeria were however not revealed by Demurin.