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Virgin Nigeria to Commence Operations in June

Posted by By Ndubuisi Francis on 2005/04/18 | Views: 332 |

Virgin Nigeria to Commence Operations in June


There are indications that the national flag carrier, Virgin Nigeria, will commence operations before the end of June, putting an end to rising speculations on the start up date of the airline.

There are indications that the national flag carrier, Virgin Nigeria, will commence operations before the end of June, putting an end to rising speculations on the start up date of the airline.

THISDAY sources revealed weekend that officials of its technical partner/strategic investor, Virgin Atlantic Airways, and those of the emerging carrier have agreed in principle that operations should commence before the end of June and not in April or May as speculations have portrayed.

It was gathered that the decision to start operations before the end of June was sealed in London last week with flights taking off on the domestic and regional routes while intercontinental services are billed for the end of the year.

Sources hinted that the promoters of the airline are rest assured that middle or tail end of June is a good enough time to commence operations considering several factors.

Some of the factors said to have been considered include the operational space at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, on-going training and recruitment of staff and the fact that June is a very busy season for airlines.

It is believed that putting the commencement of the airline's operations before the end of June would have given ample time for the training of some vital staff.

Training for 150 staff is said to have already begun while ticketing and reservations, airport and office staff training is already underway just as cabin crew training started abroad last week.

The promoters, THISDAY learnt, are of the conviction that before the end of June, enough logistics, necessary for the commencement of operations would have been in place, at least for domestic and regional flights.

The board of the airline headed by prominent industry player, Mr. Felix Ohiwerei is said to be in constant touch with the management headed by Simon Harford with a view to smoothening every rough age for the take off of the airline.

Ohiwerei, earlier nominated pioneer Chairman of Virgin Nigeria was endorsed at the inaugural meeting of the airline's board held March 23, 2005.

Virgin Nigeria announced that a total over-subscription of N3.57 billion was raised from Nigerian institutional investors in the recently concluded private placement for 51 per cent stake handled by Investment Banking & Trust Company Plc (IBTC).

This adds to the 49 per cent equity or N3.43 billion from Virgin Atlantic Airways, the strategic investor.

Meanwhile, Virgin Nigeria said it has cemented a partnership with the world's largest operator of airline reservation systems, EDS, a move it ascribed to the quest to give its passengers the most up-to-date services.

This is coming as the airline plans long-term facilities for its corporate headquarters, expressing a resolve to make Lagos one of the key hubs in Africa.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.