The Irish Embassy in Nigeria and Enterprise Ireland are seeking to partner with Arik Air on the Irish Trade Mission to Nigeria in December 2015.
This came to light during the week, when Sean Hoy, Irish Ambassador to Nigeria, led a team of Enterprise Ireland officials to Arik Aviation Centre at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, on an official visit.
Enterprise Ireland is the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in markets around the world.
The Irish Ambassador stated that the trade mission to Nigeria is expected to be one of the largest in recent times and there would be a lot of interest in the aviation sector as there are about 250 aviation companies in Ireland.
He stressed that the Irish Embassy in Nigeria is committed to improving trade relations between Nigeria and Ireland.
Fred Klinkenberg, Head of Africa Region, Enterprise Ireland, who was in the team said the organisation works in partnership with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales on global markets.
Thessa Brongers Bagu, Trade Mission Representative in Nigeria, while stressing that Arik Air is the airline of choice, disclosed that Arik would be the official carrier to move the trade mission between Accra, Abuja and Lagos.
Meanwhile, Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide, Chairman of Arik Air, who led the management team of the airline to receive the visitors , disclosed that Arik would be interested in flying the Lagos-Dublin route if there is enough traffic between the two countries.
He said Arik Air has become a strong force in Africa stressing that that the airline has relationship with a number of Irish companies.
Arik Air is Nigeria and West Africa’s largest airline and operates mainly from two hubs at Murtala Mohammed Airport Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja.
It operates a fleet of 28 state-of-the art regional, medium haul and long haul aircraft including two Airbus A340-500 making the airline the first operator of the wide bodied aircraft in Africa.
The airline currently serves 19 destinations across Nigeria as well as Accra (Ghana), Banjul (Gambia), Dakar (Senegal), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Monrovia (Liberia),Cotonou (Benin Republic), Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire), Douala (Cameroon), Luanda (Angola), London Heathrow (UK), Johannesburg (South Africa) and New York JFK (USA).
The airline operates a combined number of about 120 daily flights from its hubs in Lagos and Abuja, and has been Africa’s fastest growing airline for the last five years.