Yet another testament to the subsiding Ebola tide is the resumption of flights to certain countries whose suspension had been necessitated by the outbreak. Arik Air, West and Central Africa’s largest carrier, has resumed flight services to Cotonou, Benin Republic and Douala, Cameroon.

With this resumption, the airline will be operating four weekly flights from Lagos to Cotonou and Douala on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. “We are pleased to return to Cotonou and Douala after the brief period of suspension of flights. We thank our guests for their loyalty and promise that we shall not renege on our pledge to provide world-class experiences and services which are safe, reliable and continually contribute towards the quality of life in the region,” Mr Chris Ndulue, Arik Air’s Managing Director commented.

Recently, the airline, which has been in business for almost a decade (eight years to be precise), was adjudged one of the top 100 Nigerian companies, thus becoming the youngest organization the only aviation company to attain such feat. The criteria for selecting these companies, according to Nigeria’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, centred around their contributions to shaping the nation’s economic agenda and providing the means to fast track investments and employment in the country.

Mr Ndulue, upon receiving the honours, said the rating was an incentive for the airline to continue serving the country while also providing employment opportunities for promising young men and women who were looking to build their carriers in the aviation sector. He revealed that the company had employed over 4000 Nigerians, 95 percent of which were university graduates.

Arik Air remains the only Nigerian carrier that flies international routes including New York, London, Johannesburg and Dubai.

West Africans are expected to warm up to this news as well as others that clearly show that the region may soon be Ebola free. As Arik Air and others resume their flights to West African countries, economic activity within the region, which were hitherto constrained due to the outbreak, are expected to gradually pick up pace and set the pace for a full economic recovery.

By Emmanuel Iruobe

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