Virgin Nigeria Airways


Virgin Nigeria Airways

Infobox Airline
airline=Virgin Nigeria
logo=Virgin_Nigeria_logo.pnglogo_size=200
IATA=VK
ICAO=VGN
callsign=VIRGIN NIGERIA
parent=
founded=2004
headquarters=Lagos, Nigeria
key_people=CEO Conrad Clifford
hubs=Murtala Mohammed International Airport
focus_cities=
frequent_flyer= [http://www.virginnigeria.com/eagleflier/ eagleflier]
lounge=
alliance=
fleet_size=9 (+9 orders, 6 options)
destinations=18
website= http://www.virginnigeria.com

Virgin Nigeria Airways Limited is an airline based in Ikeja in Lagos State, Nigeria and operates scheduled international, regional and domestic passenger services. Its hub is Murtala Mohammed International Airport (LOS) of the Lagos area. The airline is a replacement for defunct Nigeria Airways.

History

On 28 September 2004 the Nigerian government and Virgin Atlantic Airways signed an agreement to establish a new airline for Nigeria, to be called Virgin Nigeria Airways. Nigerian institutional investors own 51% of the company and Virgin Atlantic Airways owns 49%. The airline's inaugural flight was on 28 June 2005 from Lagos to London Heathrow using an Airbus A340-300 aircraft. Virgin Nigeria has since gone on to become one of Nigeria's largest airlines carrying its 1,000,000th passenger and 4,000th ton of freight within two years of operation. The airline has also received accolades including THISDAY Awards 2006 Airline of the year [ [http://allafrica.com/stories/200703260311.html Virgin Nigeria wins 2006 Airline of the Year award.] , AllAfrica.com website, retrieved March 27 2007] and a nomination for 2006 African Airline of the year by ASATA (Association of South African Travel Agents). [ [http://www.asata.co.za/index.asp Virgin Nigeria nominated for 2006 African Airline of the year] , Association of South African Travel Agents website, retrieved March 27 2007] Virgin Nigeria has plans of making Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja its second hub where in addition to its Lagos hub Murtala Mohammed International Airport it will serve all countries in West Africa. [ [http://www.ainonline.com/news/single-news-page/article/virgin-nigeria-buys-bevy-of-embraer-regional-jets/?no_cache=1&cHash=221b1f7da9 Virgin Nigeria buys bevy of Embraer regional jets: AINonline ] ]

The Nigerian government set a deadline of April 30 2007 for all airlines operating in the country to re-capitalise or be grounded, in an effort to ensure better services and safety. The airline satisfied the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)’s criteria in terms of re-capitalization and was re-registered for operation. [ [http://www.nigeria.gov.ng/NR/exeres/B30C7654-36D9-4C57-837C-1EAB4A103091.htm?id=637 Nigeria Direct] 2 May 2007]

On 19 August 2008, Virgin Atlantic announced that it was "in talks to sell it's 49 percent stake in Virgin Nigeria". It is also reviewing "whether it is appropriate that the Virgin brand should remain linked to Virgin Nigeria”. [ [http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ceb26f6e-6e17-11dd-b5df-0000779fd18c.html Virgin in talks to sell out of Nigeria] ] The dispute arose after Virgin Nigeria's domestic operations were moved against its will by the Ministry of Transportation to Terminal 2. Virgin Nigeria had twice refused the directive to relocate its domestic operations from the international terminal citing the Memorandum of Mutual Understanding it signed with the previous (Olusegun Obasanjo) administration and pending appeal in a Lagos High court as reasons for not complying. As of August 2008, Virgin Nigeria reports that it is "temporarily" operating its domestic flights out of Terminal 2.

US flights

There are plans to launch scheduled flights from its Lagos hub to George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas. This would replace the original services of the defunct and liquidated Nigeria Airways. There has been an agreement for Virgin Nigeria to wet lease American aircraft in order to start flights to the USFact|date=August 2008. This appears to be a breach of agreement from the US Government on a prior agreement that did not include that clause. Some have argued that the US wants to monopolize the US-Nigeria route by creating a unilateral contract that would enable only US flights to fly this routeFact|date=August 2008.

On 22 December 2005 Virgin Nigeria made a new filing to the United States Department of Transportation for a foreign carrier permit, which points out that the degree of Virgin Atlantic ownership in Virgin Nigeria (49%) is not a barrier to granting such a permit. [http://dmses.dot.gov/docimages/pdf95/378418_web.pdf DoT Filing] [http://dmses.dot.gov/docimages/pdf95/378421_web.pdf DoT Exemption Filing] .

Virgin Nigeria plans to add Newark as its first American destination, followed by Washington, D.C., (to cater for political and NGO traffic), and Houston (catering for oil and medical industries-related traffic).

In the hopes of expediting the filing, on June 13, 2006 the Nigerian government gave US-based Global Aero Logistics' fully owned subsidiary North American Airlines permission to start direct scheduled flights from New York's JFK Airport to Lagos starting in late July. [ [http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060613/cltu030.html?.v=50] Dead link|date=May 2008] North American Airlines specializes in direct flights to Africa from the U.S.

On 6 April 2008, Virgin Nigeria was granted an approval to fly to US cities.

Destinations

Africa

;Central Africa
* Gabon
**Libreville (Libreville International Airport) ;Southern Africa
*South Africa
**Johannesburg (OR Tambo International Airport);West Africa
*Benin
**Cotonou (Cadjehoun Airport)
*Cameroon
**Douala (Douala International Airport)
*Cote d'Ivoire
**Abidjan (Port Bouet Airport)
*Ghana
**Accra (Kotoka International Airport)
* Liberia
** Monrovia (Roberts International Airport)
*Nigeria
**Abuja (Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport)
**Benin City (Benin Airport)
**Calabar (Margaret Ekpo International Airport)
**Enugu (Akanu Ibiam International Airport)
**Kano (Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport)
**Lagos (Murtala Muhammed International Airport) HUB
**Owerri (Imo Airport)
**Port Harcourt (Port Harcourt International Airport)
**Sokoto (Sadiq Abubakar III International Airport)
*Senegal
**Dakar (Dakar-Yoff-Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport)

Europe

;Western Europe
*United Kingdom
**London
***(London Gatwick Airport)
***(London Heathrow Airport)

Fleet

The Virgin Nigeria Airways fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of 3 September 2008) [http://www.ch-aviation.ch/aircraft.php?search=set&airline=VSN&al_op=1] :

References

External links

* [http://www.virginnigeria.com Virgin Nigeria Airways]


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