Top American airline, United, has announced the resumption of flights to Nigeria, five years after it suspended Houston-Lagos operations.
The airline disclosed this in a response to a media enquiry on Thursday, December 1.
United had in June revealed plans to operate the only non-stop flight on Washington-Lagos route with new three-times per week service.
The airline has now confirmed the commencement of operations with the inauguration of its new non-stop service between its hub at Washington Dulles International Airport and Murtala Muhammed International Airport. United added that its inaugural flight arrived Lagos on Wednesday, November 30.
Speaking at the inauguration, United Airline’s Senior Vice President for International Network Planning and Alliances, Patrick Quayle, said:”This new flight from Lagos reinforces our ongoing commitment to growing our network in Africa and providing more convenient service to the destinations our customers want to fly to most.”
In a remark, Mary Beth Leonard, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, said: “This highly anticipated service will provide a key gateway between Lagos and Washington D.C., as well as easy one-stop connections to almost 80 destinations across the Americas, including Houston and Chicago.This exciting initiative further expands our economic relationship, promotes people-to-people ties, and creates new opportunities for United, travel companies, and customers alike.”
With three weekly flights, United is the first and only airline serving Washington D.C. non-stop from Lagos.
“The flight is operated with state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, featuring United’s award-winning United PolarisSM business class cabin and United Premium PlusSM premium economy seats,” the airline said.
United withdrew its services from Nigeria due to the difficulty of repatriating its revenue from the country at the peak of Nigeria’s economic recession in 2016. It partnered European airlines for its existing passengers at the time.
Before then, the airline flew Houston-Lagos route five times weekly, competing with its rival, Delta, which was flying Atlanta-Lagos route non-stop.