According to a statement published on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 by the airline, flights operation to the Borno state capital would recommence by May 9, 2017. The company stated that it will be operating a three flights per week, with the possibility of increasing the frequency at a future date.
It would be recalled that the airline suspended flights operation to Maiduguri in December 2013, as the Boko Haraminsurgency increased. The extremist group had launched an armed insurgency against the Nigerian government in 2009.
By early 2015, Boko Haram was controlling territory estimated to be the size of Belgium in northern Nigeria.
Since the current Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari came to office on May 29, 2015, the Nigerian military and regional forces reversed many of the group’s gains and limited it to small-scale suicide bombings.
Mr. Roy Ilegbodu, Chief Executive Officerof Arik Air stated that: “As a major carrier in Nigeria, we owe it a duty to serve the interest of our esteemed customers who have been yearning for our return to Maiduguri.”
Arik Air’s flights to Maiduguri will be connecting the city through the country’s capital Abuja.
The Nigeria’s Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, also revealed on Wednesday, May 3, 2017, that the Federal Government is currently in consultation with six airlines, including German carrierLufthansa, on its proposed national carrier