Arik Air has again been forced to suspend its route between London Heathrow and Abuja, following the breakdown in discussions between the UK and Nigeria governments over bilateral air service agreements
The carrier suspended services in October last year, before recommencing flights in December (see online news November 29, 2011).
At the time Arik gave the reason for the temporary suspension of flights as being “due to a number of extraneous factors including operational considerations to support the regional programme ahead of the airline’s launch to new destinations in Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali on December 6”.
However the carrier says that it will now again suspend services as of March 25, “following the inability of the UK and Nigeria governments to come to a solution on the 2008 Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) and access to slots in Heathrow in line with the frequencies agreed in the BASA”.
It says that the temporary reinstatement of flights had been made possible when UK authorities “facilitated the temporary continuation of the commercial lease of these slots in support of Arik Air’s Abuja – London Heathrow operation”, but added that this “interim solutuion” was only available up until March 25.
British Airways also offers a daily service between London Heathrow and the Nigerian capital.
For more information visit arikair.com.
Report by Mark Caswell