Friday, October 3, 2008
Arik Air Nigeria
Arik Air of Nigeria along with Airbus have officially confirmed that the carrier has bought 3 of Kingfisher's Airbus A 340-500s that the Indian carrier wanted to sell for many months. Arik Air has notified share holders that these 3 A 345s will be used for new nonstop flights from Lagos to New York, Houston and London.
Arik Air must have gotten a really good deal as Kingfisher and Airbus were in a desperate state to sell these aircraft at any cost. Now what Arik Air needs to understand is that no airline can have a long haul fleet revolving around 3 aircraft of one single type. If their financial situation allows it, they should aggressively place a bid for Thai Airways fleet of 4 A 345s (they have been put up for sale) 2thus increasing their A 345 fleet to 7 aircraft which is perfect.
In this way, 7 A 345s can be followed by Arik Air in the following manner:
2 for daily same plane service LON-LOS-JNB-LOS-LON
1 for 3 weekly LOS-IAH-LOS
1 for 3 weekly LOS-EWR-LOS
1 for daily LOS-DXB-LOS
1 for daily LOS-JED-LOS
1 for 3 weekly LOS-CAN-LOS or LOS-PEK-LOS
In order for Arik Air to make extra $$$ from flying these ex KF A 345s, it must re-configure the aircraft from the 2 class 249 seater to a 2 class 270 seater plane with the extra 20 seats being in business class which can be constructed with the demolition of KF's in-flight bar and lounge area. In this way more revenue can be generated by having 20 extra J class seats on board than a bar/lounge which doesnt contribute one cent to your bottom line.
LOS is one of those unique destinations with a bucket load of high yielding premium class passengers flying in and out of the city from UK, DXB, JED and USA and thus it wont be that hard for Arik Air to get them to fly the airline as long as they have good connections to regional West African cities, domestically within Nigeria and a frequent flier hook up with a couple of major EU or American carriers.