Asky introduces Lagos-Abidjan service

Asky Airlines will commence a three-weekly service between Lagos and Abidjan on 18 December 2012. The flights will be operated with a brand new Bombardier Dash 8-Q400. Schedule:

  • KP050 LOS-ABJ 09:40-10:25 (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday)
  • KP051 ABJ-LOS 16:00-18:45 (Monday, Wednesday and Saturday)

There were no direct flights between Lagos and Abidjan since the demise of Air Nigeria. It is a pity that Arik Air lacks the capacity and resources to fill the gap left behind by Air Nigeria, they have effectively lost the West- and Central-African market to Asky Airlines.

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12 responses to “Asky introduces Lagos-Abidjan service”

  1. LAF says :

    Blog, everyone, What’s the current perspective on FBO charges at the major ports by FBOs like EAN http://www.evergreenapple.com/fbo.html ?
    Got a hunch the rates aren’t one of the friendliest out there when compared with the GA trends in major airports elsewhere and as such, one won’t be prepared to scream.

    Thanks

  2. Anonymous says :

    Do you think Arik reluctance to do Abidjan stems from having their Hawker impounded a few years back

    • Mr. Smith says :

      I definitely think there is some history behind this. Atleast I seem to recall some article about a disagreement between Arik and Cote’divoiren aviation authorities that has prevented them from starting services there.

      Is Asky really leading the West & Central African market?

  3. NaijaFlyer says :

    I always laugh at all those Arik Air articles that begin with “West and Central Africa’s largest commercial airline”.

  4. Eric says :

    KQ and ET are not West African carriers cos their home country is not West Africa though they fly to West African countries, there is a difference.

    I also think that when they say West Africa’s largest carrier, apart from the routes they also consider the fleet size e.t.c. If i am correct (and I stand corrected) Asky has a fleet of just 6 aircraft compare to Arik.

    • Mr. Smith says :

      That was my belief as well. Ultimately I believe Arik has the most capacity on it’s West African routes (outside Nigeria) than Asky does, but I could be wrong.

  5. Aviation in Nigeria says :

    Arik’s operations outside Nigeria are not very signifcant. They serve Banjul, Dakar, Freetown, Monrovia, Accra, Douala, Kinshasa and Luanda, but apart from Accra, frequencies are rather low, say 2 or 3 times a week, and the routes are operated with the relative small CRJs or B737-700s.

    Asky serves about 21 destinations in the same region, and often more frequently. Also, in terms of seats offered per week, they surpass Arik Air, as their whole fleet of 6 Q400s/B737-700s is deployed on these routes.

    Arik Air certainly the biggest commercial airline of West- and Central-Africa, but that’s because they have a very dominant position in Nigerian domestic market. However, this market is more or less saturated, and is not much perspective of growth as long as ticket prices remain on the current price level. Hence, Arik Air should have focused on the regional market earlier, as it’s the main place where they could possibly expand into. Now, they have to beat Asky (and many other new carriers in Senegal, Ghana and the Gambia), while trying to enter the market.

    All in all, the West- and Central Africa market may not be that large at all. Emirates offers 10.000 seats from and to Lagos every week, easily exceeding the number of seats offered by Arik in the regional market.

    Yes, Arik Air announced an Lagos-Abidjan route in October 2010, but the service never commenced. This was due to operational issues, rather than about the impounded Hawker. With the regime change in Côte d’Ivoire, that shouldn’t be a problem anyway, one assumes.

    • LAF says :

      The domestic market can’t be saturated.because of a some multiple frequencies on a few select routes. On the contrary, it’s a highly very open, not yet highly developed market still with lots of room for competitive opportunities fin terms of service, connectivity and other differentiators to play a more major role than is presently the case. Talk about Japan, the USA. for live cases of mature markets, to name a few.

      • Aviation in Nigeria says :

        Most of these routes can’t be operated profitably under the current conditions. It’s a long discussion how to create enough demand (more economic development or lower fares). However, even in more developed countries, air travel remains a luxury good. Other modes of transport are much cheaper and sometimes also more efficient. So, the government in Nigeria should rather focus on providing good infrastructure: roads, bridges, public transport, railways, rather than supporting the aviation industry. Only economic development will increase demand for air transport. The market is saturated in the sense that you need customers who are able/willing to the current ticket prices. Despite the high fares, only few airlines manage to survive, let alone make enough money to reinvest in the sector.

      • LAF says :

        Get you.

        In that context, it’s better understood. But still we don’t have it’s not a real saturation in the stricter sense but an apparent saturation induced in part by the developmental lag in multiple sectors, including and surface transport.

        With this kind of ‘induced drag’ effect, there a limit to which air transport can really grow. It’s at this point not very clear what effect a more strategic interest in the regional market would have done for Arik, even if all other things remained equal in the region, given the Nigeria’s market potential in itself.

        As with virtually everything, this growth would have to be carefully planned and coordinated, if we’re not to ended up wit a lopsided development. Ever wondered how air passenger kilometers relate to road and rail kilometers?

        So, until the data is crunched and the research is implemented that will lead to the roll out of respective plans for all out comprehensive development, we’ll have to make do with marginal gains. The sooner the better.

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