Delta takes over Arik’s US destination

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August 22, 2017/Daily Trust

US carrier, Delta Air Lines, said yesterday it will begin three weekly nonstop flights from Lagos to New York’s JFK airport, with effect from March 25, 2018.

The new addition would complement the existing four times a week nonstop service to Atlanta making it a daily service the airline would be offering from Lagos to its US hubs.

Following the exit of another US carrier, United Airlines on Nigerian route, Delta Airline has been the only American airline operating to Nigeria.

Arik Air which was the only Nigerian carrier operating the route has stopped operations to the US in the peak of its operational slump and insolvency which saw the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) taking over its management.

Experts said the exit of Arik from the Lagos-New York route, its only designated designation, has created a vacuum which Delta has cashed in to fill. The announcement by Delta comes as the airline plans to celebrate 10 years of service to Nigeria in December as the only carrier to offer nonstop service between Nigeria and the United States.

In a statement made available to our correspondent in Lagos, the airline said it would operate both its New York and Atlanta routes using an Airbus 330-200 aircraft equipped with Wi-Fi and feature 34 fully flat-bed seats in the Delta One cabin.

Delta’s Senior Vice President Transatlantic, Dwight James, described Nigeria as “a strategically important market” for the airline in the last 10 years.

Delta’s Lagos to New York-JFK flight will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and the return on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Night-time departures from Lagos have been scheduled to offer customers easy connections to more than 60 onward destinations via Delta’s New York-JFK hub including Boston, Washington, Baltimore and Chicago.