Arik Air In Talks With Italian Govt for Planned Flights to Milan, Rome

arik-air1By Chuks  Okoh

Arik Air said Monday that it has commenced discussions with the government of Italy on how to consolidate the traffic approvals and bilateral rights to enable it begin flights into Milan or Rome next year. The chairman of Arik Air Sir Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide disclosed this Monday when the Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Fulvio Rustico paid a courtesy visit to the airline .

Rustico who was impressed with the facilities at the airline premises said the Italian government would be delighted to grant Arik Air the necessary approval to enable it implement the remaining 50 per cent of the bilateral air services agreement Nigeria signed with Italy on the Lagos, Milan ,Rome, routes.

He described Arik Air is a formidable  carrier that would boost the economic and diplomatic relationship between the two countries .He said the airline has demonstrated capacity for growth as a link between African and Europe as the airline to watch .

He said his visit to Arik Air was to have a first hand workings of its operations to facilitate  further negotiations for cooperation, The chairman said the airline is not in a hurry to conclude arrangements for flights into Italy , until it takes delivery of two additional side body A330-200 aircraft to boost its operations next year .

He said the airline remains committed concluding all bilateral air agreements to ensure its planned flights into Italy , France and other destinations in Europe is in concrete terms .

The Italian ambassador to Nigeria said :” Arik Air has the potential to serve the two countries, which remains very high .We are convinced that our negotiations would see to the commencement of flights by Arik Air  very soon, on our side, we are looking forward to the actualisation of the remaining fifty per cent of the bilateral air services agreement on the Nigerian side .

Now that Arik Air has been designated, we look forward to the beginning of flights to enhance robust relationship between us.We discussed a lot of potentials on Arik’s coming to Italy . What I saw at the airline facility is fantastic .We are going to work together as business partners to ensure the relationship between the two countries remains robust .”

Arumemi on his part said :” The Italian ambassador to Nigeria has expressed willingness to work with Arik Air , and on on our part, we are working hard in how to begin flights into Italy next year. That would depend on our delivery of two aircraft, and the conclusion of bilateral agreements with the relevant authorities . We are not in the hurry , we are prepared to commence the flights by next year after the necessary things would have been done .We are looking at Milan, Rome , Amsterdam, Paris and other routes in Europe.

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