Nigeria’s Arik Air Launches Nonstop Flights from New York to Lagos

Any new air service to Africa is a big deal, so I thought I’d pass along this tidbit:  Nigeria’s largest airline, Arik Air, has begun nonstop service between JFK and Lagos three times a week, the only nonstop service between those cities.  In case you are concerned about flying a Nigerian airline (we can argue all day about whether you should be), the flights are being operated by Portuguese wet lease provider Hi Fly, on a new A340-500 originally outfitted for India’s Kingfisher.  In English, that means that it’s a new plane outfitted very, very nicely (lie-flat beds), even in coach (see seatback TVs, etc, here).

If people can get past the idea of flying an African carrier, this is a great option for anyone flying to West Africa.


  1. The cabin crew are Americans; the command crew are EU based. This is actually being operated by Hi-Fly a Portuguese charter carrier, with a pretty shady history.

  2. A great opportunity for such a carrier, as US airlines seem afraid to fly the route — safety, bribes, etc.

  3. Arik Air flight to New York is very unprofessional start.No one knows in US who represents them.
    Nigerians have no knowledge about this airline operation from USA.
    Travel agents have no information about his airline.
    A Wet lease aircraft operated by Arik Air is a “big question”
    Arik Air Management in Nigeria must come out from from their dream world and run a professioal airline

  4. Shelmadean Meyer

    I’m being refused assistance from Arik Customer Relations & they don’t even want to give reasons to why!!!!!

    My situation:

    I travelled as per the ticket reserved on 23.12.2010 from Johannesburg to Lagos on flight W3 104.
    The flight was delayed by approx 4 hours due to overloaded luggage for the capacity of the aircraft. This caused the airline to leave some of the luggage in Johannesburg, to be taken with your next trip to Lagos, which was on 24.12.2010. I had an onward flight to Port Harcourt departing on 23.12.2010 at 17h30, however due to the delay I missed this flight. There was no other flight from Lagos to Port Harcourt after 17h30 on 23.12.2010. The ground duty manager in Johannesburg advised me, prior to our departure, that they would send an email to the Lagos airport desk to arrange for accommodation for the night of the 23rd as well as a new flight on the morning of 24.12.2010. On arrival in Lagos, I found that this arrangement had not been made. I discussed the matter with the staff at the Lagos Arik desk & they informed me that I would need to arrange my own accommodation for the evening and my new flight. I could then submit a claim to Arik & the costs for the accommodation & flight would be refunded to me.
    My baggage was part of the group that did not arrive with the flight. My bag was sent on to Port Harcourt and it finally arrived today – 27.12.2010. I arranged for collection of the bag at Port Harcourt. The bag was received in a terrible state. The bag is severely damaged and will no longer be usable. The contents were soiled
    by some liquid and this lead to damage of some of the items contained in the bag. There were also some items taken from my bag.
    My departure flight on 02.01.2011 was also delayed by 2 hours. This time it was because they didn’t have fuel for the aircraft. The passengers were treated with the utmost disrespect. We were locked behind the boarding gate doors & ignored for the duration. When some people got upset, they threatened to call the security and police.
    I eventually arrived back home on 04.01.2011.
    I’ve been struggling from 27.12.2010 to get the claims resolved, which they said I could lodge because of their delays. Now today they say: “Referencing the request of a reimbursement of the said additional expenses incurred, we regret to inform that we are unable to provide a compensation on this occasion.”
    The plane didn’t even have simply things like safety posters for each passenger. When enquiring another passenger was told that he would have to share with someone in another row, if he really wanted to read the safety instructions.
    This is such poor service!!!!

    I won’t be leaving the matter here. I will fight & raise the concerns with their governing bodies.

    Let me know if you’ve experienced problems with them too.

  5. I just a phone number to confirm what the weight of my luggage should be and I can’t seem to find any US contact number. SOmebody know? Please help!