Dubai to prove key transit point

Virgin Nigeria, which launched its three-times-a-week Dubai-Lagos service on June 2, has told ATN that Dubai will become a crucial hub for Nigerians travelling to destinations throughout the Middle East and Asia.

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By  Joseph Mortimer Published  July 16, 2006

Virgin Nigeria, which launched its three-times-a-week Dubai-Lagos service on June 2, has told ATN that Dubai will become a crucial hub for Nigerians travelling to destinations throughout the Middle East and Asia. “The bulk of the traffic will be inbound Nigerians visiting Dubai or transiting Dubai on their way to Asia,” said Conrad Clifford, CEO, Virgin Nigeria. “At the moment, a lot of traffic is currently carried via inconvenient mid-points like Addis Ababa and Nairobi; the market is there and it needs more non-stop services. “We would like the service to be daily by this time next year, and we would like to use Dubai as a transit point for our aircraft to Asia,” he added. For passengers travelling from Dubai, the Nigerian capital will act as a transportation hub to serve the rest of West Africa, providing connecting flights to locations that have been previously inaccessible by commercial aircraft. “Nigeria is determined that some day it will have a tourist industry,” said Clifford. He told ATN he hoped the carrier’s Middle East GSA, Dubai travel agency chain, Sharaftravel, which also represent Virgin Atlantic, would help “sell Nigeria as a destination”. An A340-300 aircraft departs Dubai at 11.20 on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, and arrives at Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos at 16.20 the same day. The return flight leaves Lagos at 22.30 on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday, arriving at Dubai at 9.20 the next morning. From Lagos, passengers will be able to connect to thirteen destinations in Africa, including Dakar to the north, and Luanda to the south.

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