Air Nigeria Re-Establishing Long Haul Routes

Air Nigeria is resuming long-haul operations after a nearly three-year hiatus, with A340-300 flights to London Gatwick commencing in Sep-2011. The carrier is also aiming to use its newly acquired A340-300 fleet to resume flights to Johannesburg and launch Washington Dulles with the latter designed to supplement its new codeshare service via Delta Air Lines to Atlanta and New York.

The Air Nigeria-Delta codeshare, which commenced last month, is an important step to ensure the continued growth of trade and travel between the US and Nigeria. Delta is now carrying Air Nigeria’s code on the New York-Accra-Abuja route and on its non-stop service to Lagos from Atlanta.

Continuing its international reach, Air Nigeria will re-launch service to London, which was dropped in 2009. This time the carrier will operate to London Gatwick rather than London Heathrow as it no longer has access to Virgin slots.

Air Nigeria was first established in 2004 under the name Virgin Nigeria after Nigeria’s government and Virgin Atlantic Airways signed a Memorandum of Mutual Understanding to create the carrier. Virgin Nigeria operated to London Heathrow and Johannesburg as its two flagship, long-haul destinations. In Jan-2009, while still operating as Virgin Nigeria, these routes were suspended due to high competition on the route.

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