Air Nigeria is to launch its first route outside Africa with a service linking Lagos with London Gatwick.

The carrier, which was formerly known as Virgin Nigeria and then - briefly - as Nigerian Eagle, will use an Airbus A340-300 in a two-class, 295-seat configuration on the daily flight, which will launch on 1 September.

The service is aimed mainly at business traffic, notably the oil and gas industries. There is also a major Nigerian expatriate community in the UK.

"About 600,000 passengers travel to Nigeria from London and the southeast [of England] each year, so we expect a good take-up on this route," said Gatwick's commercial director, Guy Stephenson.

The airline had previously operated the route as Virgin Nigeria.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news