Arik Air, the fast growing private airline based in Lagos, Nigeria, received its first A340-500 today at a ceremony at the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France. The ceremony was conducted by John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, and Arik Air Chairman Sir J.I.A Arumemi-Johnson in the presence of senior government officials from various African states, board members and key business partners of the airline, and other VIP guests.
The new aircraft is the first of three A340-500s ordered by Arik Air for use on international long-haul routes to London, New York and Houston. Powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 500 engines, the carrier's new A340s will offer the best possible passenger comfort in a two-class configuration.
"Our new A340-500 is the first newly built long-range aircraft delivered to a Nigerian airline in more than 20 years, making it the first airline in Africa to operate this variant. It will allow us to launch intercontinental flights, linking Nigeria with the US and the UK, using state of the art technology," said Sir Arumemi-Johnson, Chairman of Arik Air.
John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers said, "The A340-500 offers unparalleled passenger comfort combined with outstanding performance and range. We are proud that Arik Air will use the A340 to develop their international network. The introduction of this aircraft will be a catalyst for the development of the Nigerian aerospace industry and we are looking forward to working with Arik Air in the West African region".
The A340-500 is the member of Airbus' A330/A340 Family that flies furthest, and is the most modern aircraft in the 250-375-seater segment flying today. The A340-500, operates the world's longest-range commercial air routes, the longest linking Singapore non-stop with New York, an 18-hour flight, and as such offers passengers the latest in comfort and in-flight services. With four engines, the A340 offers unrivalled operational economics and flexibility on ultra-long-haul non-stop routes over remote oceans and terrains such as mountain ranges and the Polar Regions.
Airbus is an EADS company.