Nigeria's largest commercial carrier, Arik Air, is expanding its regional African network with the addition of new flight services from Lagos, Nigeria to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The first commercial flight on the route took place on December 5 and would subsequently be operating twice weekly on Wednesday and Sunday.
The airline said that the announcement meant that Kinshasa has now become Arik Air's third destination in Central Africa, following the inclusion of flights to Luanda, Angola in 2011 and Douala, Cameroun in August this year.
The new Lagos-Kinshasa service would be operating through Douala, Cameroun with outbound flights departing from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at 11:10 am (local time) and arriving at Douala International Airport at 12:40 pm (local time).
Flights will then continue onto Kinshasa, departing from Douala at 1:25 pm (local time) and arriving at N'djili International Airport, Kinshasa at 3:25 pm (local time).
The return flights will leave Kinshasa at 4:10 pm (local time), arriving in Douala at 6:10 pm (local time) and will thereafter leave Douala at 6:55 pm (local time), arriving in Lagos at 8:25 pm (local time).
Passengers can still take advantage of the existing thrice weekly flights between Lagos and Douala on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. This service departs Lagos at 11:10 am (local time) and arrives in Douala at 12:40 (local time). The return flight departs Douala at 1:25pm (local time) and arrives in Lagos at 2:55 pm.
The Lagos to Kinshasa route will be served with a Boeing 737-700 Next Generation aircraft. The 737-700 is a two class compartment and the configuration is 12 Business Class seats and 112 Economy Class. Business Class passengers will enjoy a 44" seat pitch with cradle style seats, while Economy Class passengers will have plenty of room on the flight with a generous seat pitch of 34".
Arik Air's Managing Director/Executive Vice President, Mr. Chris Ndulue, said of the new Lagos-Kinshasa service: "Kinshasa is our 12th African destination and this underscores the airline's commitment to linking the African markets for proper integration of the continent. Kinshasa is the second largest city in sub-Saharan Africa and the third largest in the whole continent after Lagos and Cairo. Thus, it is strategically important to link Lagos with Kinshasa.
"Arik Air is now firmly established as the largest airline in West and Central Africa as well as the fastest growing in Africa".