Direct flight s operations from Nigeria into the Italian cities of Milan and Rome is set to commence as Arik Air said 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 the two cities next year.
The airline Chairman, Sir Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide who spoke when he received the Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Fulvio Rustico who paid a courtesy visit to the airline said the Arik is leveraging on the bilateral trade agreement between both countries.
Dr. 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 firsthand workings of its operations to facilitate further negotiations for cooperation, The chairman said the airline is not in a hurry to conclude rrangements
for flights into Italy , until it takes delivery of two additional side body A330-200 aircraft to boost its operations next year . He said Arik Air remains committed concluding all bilateral air agreements to ensure its planned flights into Italy, France and other destinations in Europe is in concrete terms affirming that “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 our part, we are working hard in how to begin flights into Italy next year.