Major domestic carrier, Air Nigeria, has announced that it would commence scheduled direct flights from Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, to London Gatwick with affordable fares for a return economy ticket, while, it would also on May 17, commence flights to O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa, using a modern Airbus A330-200 aircraft to service both routes.
Kahssaye said Air Nigeria was currently implementing a growth phase strategy initiated by Jimoh Ibrahim (OFR) who acquired the airline two years ago, noting that the recommencement of the long-haul flights marked a historic moment for Nigerian aviation and in the West African sub-region as passengers now have a wider array of choices and more than ever before, can conveniently connect onwards to London and Johannesburg and points beyond.
Commenting on the commencement of both services, Kahssaye, said, "After the successful turn-around of the airline over the last two years, the airline is now well positioned to compete favourably in the international market."
He further noted that the recommencement of the long-haul flights confirm Air Nigeria's commitment to boost business and tourism travels through regular growth and innovation that would meet the aspirations of the travelling public, adding that passengers would have distinctive onboard experience on the flights as indigenous meals and variety of movies would be offered as the airline was committed to delivering quality services at an affordable price.
Kahssaye also announced that the Board of Directors has appointed Mr. Richard Aisuebeogun as Executive Director, International Operation.
Aisuebeogun, an ACI/ICAO International Airport Professional (IAP), the CEO said, has brought in a wealth of excellent leadership qualities and competence to drive the international arm of the airline in line with the overall business objectives.
Air Nigeria's flights to London would be operated from Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport to the South Terminal of London Gatwick Airport where passengers would have the ease of connectivity across Europe as well as onwards to North America while London bound passengers would have excellent links to London, the North of England, and the South coast.
At the inauguration of the international flight operations on May 16 and 17, Air Nigeria would operate three flights weekly to both London and Johannesburg, and by June 16, 2012, increase the frequency on the Lagos-London Gatwick route to daily flights.
The long-haul services would be operated with the recently acquired modern Airbus A330-200 aircraft in two class configuration of 24 Business seats and 244 Economy class seats.
The aircraft, Kahssaye explained, is equipped with state-of-the-art iPADS for in-flight entertainment in the business class cabin, making Air Nigeria one of the first African airlines to offer such a product to passengers.
He said that tickets have gone on sale across all the sales channels such as the Internet online portal - www.myairnigeria.com, by telephone, as well as at multiple ticket offices across Nigeria, and at travel agents.
Air Nigeria has an established safety record as it has consistently adhered to world class safety standards as evident in its registration for the third time in a row on the registry of the IATA Operational Safety Audit Program (IOSA).
Air Nigeria currently dominates the West and Central Africa regional market with flights to 10 African nations, offering convenient connections from the West to the Central African region via Lagos, Accra and Cotonou.
From its operational base at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, the airline currently operates to Owerri, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Sokoto and Enugu on the domestic routes while on the regional routes, it operates to Brazzaville, Accra, Douala, Dakar, Monrovia, Cotonou, Banjul, Libreville, Abidjan and Sao Tome & Principe.