Arik Air

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Arik Air
Arik Air logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Commenced operations30 October 2006
Focus citiesKotoka International Airport
Frequent-flyer programArik Affinity Wings
Fleet size14
Parent companyAsset Management Corporation of Nigeria
HeadquartersIkeja, Lagos State, Nigeria
Key peopleCapt. Roy Ilegbodu

Arik Air is a Nigerian airline operating mainly from two hubs at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.[1] Arik Air's head office is the Arik Air Aviation Center on the grounds of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja.[2] Arik Air serves a network of regional and mid-haul destinations within Africa.


Early years[edit]

The company was created in 2004 by Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide from the ashes of Nigeria Airways, which was liquidated in 2002.[3]

In August 2006, the Federal Ministry of Aviation granted Arik Air authorisation to fly to Trinidad and Tobago and Amsterdam, London and Madrid in Europe. Furthermore, the airline then planned to fly to Atlanta, Miami, and Houston in the United States and Birmingham in the United Kingdom.[4]

On 4 April 2008, Arik Air was given permission to fly to the United States by the US Department of Transportation.[5] Arik Air started international operations to London-Heathrow on 15 December 2008, using an Airbus A340-500 aircraft wet-leased from Hi Fly.[6] It added Johannesburg on 1 June 2009,[7] New York JFK on 30 November 2009,[8] and Dubai on 28 July 2014.

Subsidiary airline Arik Niger (IATA code: Q9) commenced operations in April 2009, but was shut down in February 2010.[9]

Development since 2010[edit]

Arik Air transported its 5 millionth passenger on 6 August 2010[10] and it transported its 10 millionth passenger on 18 September 2012, both on flights between Johannesburg and Lagos.[11] On 20 September 2012, the airline cancelled all its domestic operations after aviation officials raided the airline's office in Lagos, Nigeria.[12] Flights resumed on 23 September.[13] Arik Air had placed an order for five Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which was cancelled in 2011.[14] Arik Air then placed an order for two Boeing 747-8I aircraft 2013.[15][16] However, in early 2017, Arik Air converted the 747-8I orders to two Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners instead.[17] Arik Air had been the last remaining airline customer for the passenger 747-8 (who had not yet received any examples). The conversion of the 747-8 order to Dreamliners came shortly after the airline, owing to major financial stress and most aircraft not being operational, was taken over by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) at the start of 2017, deeming the airline as too big to fail. Since the takeover, all flights leaving Africa, along with flights to O.R. Tambo International Airport, have been gradually suspended.[18][19] Simultaneously, KPMG was appointed by AMCON to conduct a forensic audit on Arik Air's books.[20] Since then, AMCON is gradually in the process of reviving and stabilising the airline and its operations.[21]

Due to Arik Air's debt, the airline is projected to merge with Aero Contractors.[22][23][24] It has also been revealed that this new airline merger is to be re-branded as Nigeria Eagle (styled as NG Eagle),[25][26] with some of the aircraft already re-painted to represent the new livery.[27] It is speculated by many to be another attempt to re-establish a national airline by AMCON, even though they have officially dissociated any relations with the plans; stating that they were going to make a start-up airline.[28]


Arik Air has built up a domestic network covering mainly Nigerian and several other Western African destinations. It previously also served more distant and intercontinental destinations in the United Kingdom and the United States.


Current fleet[edit]

An Arik Air Boeing 737-800 landing at London's Heathrow Airport

As of November 2022, the Arik Air fleet consists of the following aircraft:[29]

Arik Air fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Boeing 737-700 4 12 112 124
12 119 131
149 149
Boeing 737-800 3 16 132 148
Boeing 737 MAX 8 8[30] TBA
Boeing 787-9 9[30] TBA 2 orders converted from Boeing 747-8Is[17]
Bombardier CRJ900 3 10 65 75
De Havilland Dash 8-400 4 10 62 72
Total 14 17

Former fleet[edit]

A former Arik Air Airbus A330-200 on short final to John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York.

Arik Air previously operated the following aircraft:[31]

Arik Air historical fleet
Aircraft Total Introduced Retired Notes
Airbus A330-200 4[31] 2010 2017
Airbus A340-500 2[31] 2009 2015 Operated by Hi Fly.
Bombardier CRJ200ER 3[31] 2007 2008
De Havilland Canada DHC-8-300 3[31] 2007 2010
Fokker 50 5[31] 2007 2011

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • On 8 March 2018, the pilot of Arik Air flight W3 304 from Lagos to Accra declared an emergency when an unknown source of smoke was detected in the cabin 81 miles (70 nmi; 130 km) from their destination. The Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 landed safely in Ghana and no passenger or crew member was injured as a result of the incident.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 27 March 2007. p. 77.
  2. ^ "New aircraft to make arik air the largest commercial carrier in nigeria arik air reflects on six months of flying “the new experience” Archived 23 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine." Arik Air. 28 March 2007. Archived from Retrieved on 8 September 2010. "For more information, please contact: Gbemiga Ogunieye, Head of Communications, Arik Air Ltd, Arik Air Aviation Centre, Murtula Muhammed Domestic Airport, PO Box 10468, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria."
  3. ^ "La conquête éclair d'Arik Air – Jeune Afrique". (in French). Retrieved 27 October 2022.
  4. ^ "About Arik Air." Arik Air. 15 June 2006. Retrieved on 3 December 2010.
  5. ^ "Notice of Action Taken re: Arik Air Limited". U.S. Department of Transportation. 4 April 2008.
  6. ^ "Arik Air's First Flight to London Heathrow a Success". Arik Air. 15 December 2008. Archived from the original on 23 May 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2011.
  7. ^ Arik Air arrives in Johannesburg Archived 15 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Arik Air, 2 June 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  8. ^ Arik makes historic flight into New York, Vanguard (Nigerian newspaper), dd. 1 December 2009
  9. ^[dead link]
  10. ^ "Arik Air reaches milestone carrying 5 millionth passenger during summer period". African Aviation. 10 September 2010. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2011.
  11. ^ "Media centre | Arik Air Official Website". Archived from the original on 25 September 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  12. ^ "Nigeria's Arik Air cancels domestic flights". BBC News. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  13. ^ "Nigeria's Arik Air resumes flight operations today". Nigeria Vanguard. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  14. ^ "Boeing: Arik Air Buys Boeing 777s and 787s". Archived from the original on 3 June 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 September 2018. Retrieved 18 April 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ Boeing 747-8#Orders and deliveries
  17. ^ a b Nigeria’s Arik Air switches Boeing 747-8s with 787-9s, accessed 28 January 2017
  18. ^ "Premium Times Nigeria". Premium Times Nigeria. Retrieved 29 August 2017.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ Arik Air suspends flights to London, Johannesburg Archived 15 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 15 February 2017
  20. ^ AMCON appoints KPMG to audit Arik Air Archived 16 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 15 February 2017
  21. ^ - Arik Air gets better, says AMCON 26 February 2017
  22. ^ "Will Arik Air merge to survive?". African Aerospace. 4 December 2020. Archived from the original on 4 December 2020. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  23. ^ "Arik, Aero May Merge for Business Survival". THISDAYLIVE. 4 December 2020. Archived from the original on 4 December 2020. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  24. ^ "Aero Contractors React To Merger Plan With Arik Air". Business News in Nigeria. 6 December 2020. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  25. ^ "As NG Eagle Berths". THISDAYLIVE. 22 January 2021. Archived from the original on 22 January 2021. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  26. ^ "Arik Air set to be rebranded; renamed Nigeria Eagle". Nigerian Flight Deck. 10 September 2020. Archived from the original on 10 September 2020. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  27. ^ "Africa: Nigerian airline, Arik Air, set for national carrier status, may transform to Nigeria Eagle". ATQ News. 10 September 2020. Archived from the original on 28 September 2020. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  28. ^ "AMCON denies 'rebranding' Arik says it wants to create independent entity". Nigerian Flight Deck. 11 September 2020. Archived from the original on 19 September 2020. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  29. ^ - Arik Air retrieved 3 November 2022
  30. ^ a b - Orders & Deliveries retrieved 23 June 2019
  31. ^ a b c d e f [ - Arik Air Fleet] retrieved 26 June 2019
  32. ^ "Arik Air Reacts After 'Smoking' Plane Makes Emergency Landing". Channels TV. 9 March 2018.

External links[edit]

Media related to Arik Air at Wikimedia Commons