Nigeria Leading Commercial airline, Arik Air is to launch its first trans Atlantic route New York, John F. Kennely Airport, to Lagos today providing the only direct flight on the route.
The airline will operate three weekly services scheduled from new York to Lagos on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and departing JFK terminal four at 22:00 hours and arriving at 14:00 hours unbound services from Lagos, Murtala Muhammed airport will operate Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 23:20 hours arriving in JFK at 05:50 hours.
The Tide was informed that the Lagos-New York route is to be service by Airbus A340-500 series fitted with the very best in-flight comfort style.
The airline in a statement last week said premier class passengers will have individual scheduled both areas with fully flat beds featuring a new generation inbuilt message system complete with a hand held 3.5 inch LD screen unit controlling seat and lighting functions with integrated 77 touch screen television.
The statement also added that those flying the class will be able to enjoy an onboard lounge facility. The bar area is situated in the centre of premier cabin and has seats as well as a surrounding seating area for passengers to enjoy a complimentary bar offering.
The airline further said that premier passengers can also relax and freshen up in the business class lounge.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Airline international Mr Micheal Arumeni-Ikhinde who signed the statement said the economy class cabin formant provides a new more comfortable experience as passengers will be able to enjoy an extra 50 per cent leg room in the specious cabin and added that the airline is also offering the most generous check baggage allowance available 3 x 30kgs; bags in premier class 7 x 30 legs.
The airline noted that the Airbus 340-500 series aircraft will be operated by Arik partner Hi Fly Transport Aeros S.A while Aviereps Inc, a leading tourism representatives would handle the sales and tickets activities on its behalf.
Already, the Tdie was hinted that sales for today’s flight had started a week ago.
The airline currently flies 18 airports out of the 21 domestic airports in the country and had recently secured traffic right to major international destinations including Paris, Dubai, Sao-Paulo and Beging. The airline is also planning to open new routes to Egypt, Angola and Kenya the airline last week commence its London (UK) route.
Nigeria Saves $500,000 From Calibration Aircraft – Minister
The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has said that Nigeria will be saving a lot of money from the acquisition of a custom made calibration aircraft recently acquired by the Federal Government.
Sirika who disclosed this while speaking to aviation correspondents in Abuja, Tuesday, said the purpose of the aircraft was to calibrate navigational equipment and aid the country for the purpose of flight operations.
The aircraft which is worth about $8.5 million, according to the minister, will be commercialised to generate revenue, and keep the industry safe.
“We used to have one in Nigeria, but for the last two decades, we never had any. What propelled us to procure this aircraft was that while we were reconstructing the Abuja runway, we needed to recalibrate all those landing aids. That is the standard requirement and this is to ensure they are working in perfect order.
“The last time Nigeria had such aircraft was 20 years ago under cover aviation flying unit. We did not have the capacity as a country, the only people close to us that had is ASECNA which is owned by French speaking countries, but the aircraft is domiciled in Niger.
“We approached them but they did not have a slot for us. If I hadn’t got the support of far away South Africa, we would not beat the six weeks deadline.
“Nigeria will be saving a lot of money by procuring this aircraft. I know I paid about $500,000 when our equipment was due to South African contractor to carry out the task.
“ If you say every six months, we will do this, and that would be half a million dollars every six months. So when we do it sixteen times, the value of the aircraft would have been paid. Not only that, we will commercialise it to generate revenue and keep our industry safe “, Sirika said.
The minister, however, explained that it took about nine months from when the request was made to the completion and installation of the equipment.
The Tide reports that the aircraft was built in Textron Aviation Services, Kansas in the United States, and it is expected to improve safety in the aviation industry.
PH Airport Manager Seeks Safety Awareness, Education At Airports
The Safety Manager, Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Mr Oguche Samuel, has harped on the need for continuous awareness and education on safety at the nation’s airports.
He said the continuous safety education would create awareness to staff and stakeholders at the airports on their safety responsibilities.
Samuel disclosed this while addressing participants at the safety promotion day at the airport which focused on Foreign Object Deris (FOD),
He urged participants and staff to be good safety ambassadors in their day to day activities, stressing that safety is one of the core values of FAAN.
Meanwhile, the management of the Port Harcourt International Airport has keyed into the Airport Emergency Plan programme as plans are in full gear towards the certification of the airport.
The Tide reliably learnt that the management of the airport recently took steps in training staff in relevant departments on emergency plan.
Instructors from Accra in Ghana, it was gathered, were invited to train some of the staff of the airport in the later part of last year.
The training was aimed at developing staff capacity to effectively and efficiently handle emergency response with the certification of the airport.
FAAN Moves To Check Security Threats At Airside
Following reported cases of intrusion into airside at the nation’s airports, particularly at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at nights, the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt. Rabiu Yadudu has taken steps to install thermal and infrared cameras for airside monitoring and patrol.
The introduction of thermal and infrared cameras is meant to monitor and expose happenings or any intruder who manages to gain access to airports, especially at nights.
FAAN, in a press statement on Tuesday, said it took the steps because anything that happens at the airside, has a ripple effect on the aviation industry.
“We are mostly particular about the airside because at the end of the day, security and safety are paramount and anything that happens at the airside has a ripple effect and we are here to ensure that our airports are safe.
FAAN posited that it is a dangerous practice to go and open aircraft cargo door because of the engine blast which might occur on the process.
“The proximity switch and the plunder could vibrate when the engine level is moved above idle running; for some seconds, the light may flash and warning light will remain off. It is even an easy thing to open the cargo door while the engine is running.
“Rotation of the handle activates a torque tube to withdraw the latch rollers from the latch fitting and as the door swings on board under tension of the door balance mechanism, the door warning proximity switch is activated to energize the appropriate door warning in the control cabin to alert the Crewe”, FAAN stated.
Enumerating other efforts being made to tackle the problem, FAAN explained that the Authority has put patrol vans fitted with cameras on the dashboard to capture the environment during patrol, saying although this might be a temporary measure.
Our correspondent reports that there were reports of incidents of intruders allegedly opening the cargo compartment of aircraft either taxing or holding on the runway, particularly at the Lagos airport, which had become a cause of concern to FAAN management.
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