Nigeria's Arik firms Johannesburg service with A340-500

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Nigeria's Arik Air has firmed plans to open a Johannesburg link, with a daily connection to the main South African airport starting on 1 June.

It becomes the airline's second long-haul destination from Lagos, after London Heathrow.

Arik Air will operate the flights with a newly-acquired Airbus A340-500, configured with 36 premium and 201 economy seats.

Managing director Mike McTighe claims the aircraft is "proving popular" on the London route.

Arik Air already serves 19 airports in Nigeria as well as Accra and Cotonou, and operates a fleet of 26 aircraft.

"We are very much aware of the strong economic and cultural links that Nigeria and South Africa maintain," says McTighe. "We also know that strong business links unite the cities of Lagos and Johannesburg in particular.

"Our new service is a direct response to the requirements of the various segments of the marketplace."