Top American airline, United, will soon announce 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 Wednesday. United has just placed an order for 270 new aircraft to enrich its fleet in the next few years.
It revealed plans to operate the only non-stop flight on Washington-Lagos route with new three-times per week service.
The company’s Media Relations staff, Maddie King wrote: “We plan to begin service to Lagos in the near future. Below is our statement on that service.
“United is looking forward to offering the only nonstop service between Washington, D.C. and Lagos, Nigeria with new, three-times weekly service. United will announce a start date and inform travelers when our flights will be available for purchase.”
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. The latter has continued to fly to Nigeria in spite of difficulties. It has widened its services with the addition of New York-Lagos flights. It has remained the only airline offering non-stop flights to the US from Nigeria.
In the announcement on June 29, the company said: “United Airlines today announced the purchase of 270 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft – the largest combined order in the airline’s history and the biggest by an individual carrier in the last decade. The ‘United Next’ plan will have a transformational effect on the customer experience and is expected to increase the total number of available seats per domestic departure by almost 30%, significantly lower carbon emissions per seat and create tens of thousands of quality, unionized jobs by 2026, all efforts that will have a positive, ripple effect across the broader U.S. economy.
“When combined with the current order book, United expects to introduce more than 500 new, narrow-body aircraft: 40 in 2022, 138 in 2023 and as many as 350 in 2024 and beyond. That means in 2023 alone, United’s fleet will, on average, add about one new narrow-body aircraft every three days.”