West African airline Arik Air has announced plans to become the first airline to offer a commercial passenger service between Dubai and Nigerian capital Abuja.
Arik Air said it will launch its first commercial flight on this route from Monday July 28, and will operate five flights every week between Dubai and Lagos via Abuja.
"The operation of the flights on this sector will greatly benefit the growing number of Nigerian nationals living and working in the UAE as well as UAE businesspersons who travel frequently to Nigeria," the airline said in a statement.
While some UAE-based airlines offer weekly flights between the UAE and Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, the Abuja sector remained unserved.
Last year, the UAE-Lagos route served more than 300,000 passengers.
Dr Michael Arumemi-Ikhide, Arik Air’s global CEO, said: “This is another exciting moment for us all at Arik Air, not only launching a new international destination, but becoming the first airline to link the capital Abuja to Dubai.
"As the Nigerian population in the UAE continues to increase, the need to connect the city of Dubai to Lagos Abuja was imperative.”
The airline has currently deployed a fleet of Airbus A330-200 aircraft on the route, offering more than 200 seats.
Arik Air also announced the appointment of the UAE-based Dadabhai Travel as its general sales agent for the GCC region.