Arik Air gets US govt’s recognition
LAGOS—UNITED STATES Government has granted its recognition of Arik Airlines as one of Africa’s leading carriers, crowning it with an invitation to the Chairman, Sir Joseph Arumemi Ikhide, to make a presentation at the just concluded eighth African Growth and Opportunities Act, AGOA, Forum in Washington DC.
Vanguard learnt that Arik Air was invited to the Forum, which held August 2 to 3, 2010, for facilitating trade between the U.S. and Africa, especially in view of the volume of investment it had put into aircraft acquisition, mainly from Boeing Corporation.
Speaking at the Forum, which had in attendance U.S. Trade Representative, Ron Kirk, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, William Fitzgerald; President of United States’ Export_Import (EXIM) Bank, Mr. Fred Hochberg, acknowledged Arik Air’s contributions to the growth of aviation in Africa and trade relations with the U.S.
Hochberg noted that Arik Air had significant trade major with U.S. companies, stressing that the airline had the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in Africa, and had invested over $4.57 billion in Boeing aircraft acquisition, including orders.
He said the airline had also done $220 million worth of transactions with US EXIM Bank; purchased about $1 million explosive and narcotic trace devices from General Electric, GE; and $3 million screening machines from Rapiscan, among others.
Hochberg particularly referred to the commitment of the airline to develop the air transport sector in West and Central Africa.
Arik Air Chairman, Sir Arumemi Ikhide who was invited to speak on facilitating trade through investment and infrastructure showcased achievements of Arik Air as a model for all of Africa and its strides at making Nigeria a hub for travel to the continent.
In his presentation at the Forum, which also had in attendance ministers of trade and commerce from several African countries, Sir Arumemi_Ikhide, also made allusions to the current and planned fleet acquisition (new orders from Boeing and Airbus), route structure, unique training programme, first class maintenance support from Lufthansa Technik, and plan to build a first class maintenance facility in Africa, OCC.
He also listed the recent AOC re-certification by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, as part of efforts at attaining United States’ Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, Category 1.