By Kenneth Ehigiator
Virgin Nigeria Â Â Â Airways has taken delivery of its second brand new Embraer 190AR aircraft at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
The airline had last year taken delivery of the first of the 10 Embraer jets it placed orders with Brazilian plane maker, the Embraer group, in 2007.
The entry of the aircraft is expected to boost its operations and add to the existing fleet of the airline.
The aircraft, Embraer 190AR ( Advanced Range ), left the Embraer factory in Brazil after finishing touches, which includes in-Flight Entertainment system ( IFE ) for passengersâ€™ comfort were put to it.
The 96 seater is a technologically advanced aircraft aimed at boosting the airlineâ€s present business model which is currently made up of Boeing and Embraer aircraft models.
The Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Nigeria, Captain Dapo Olumide, said yesterday in Lagos that the aircraft was coming at a time when the airline seeks to integrate its operational business plan with modern aircraft in its fleet.
Captain Olumide, while receiving the aircraft at a ceremony at the airportâ€˜s tarmac yesterday, said â€œthe entry of the aircraft is a pointer to the emphasis of President Umar Yarâ€™Adua towards repositioning the Nigerian aviation sector to have newer generation aircraft in its airspace.
â€œThe arrival of the aircraft yesterday brings the number of Embraer aircraft to two and another two aircraft is expected before the end of the year.
â€The latest additional aircraft to the fleet of Virgin Nigeria will be further deployed on Virgin Nigeriaâ€s growing domestic and regional network to meet up passengersâ€ demand especially as the airline has embarked on an aggressive route roll out plan.â€
According to him, â€the current trend is to have young fleet and grow a generation of fleet that is adaptable to business challenges, most importantly young fleet helps to lower the operating cost as they are cheaper to maintainâ€.
The airlineâ€™s Director of Engineering, Richard Murphy, noted that the aircraft arrived from Brazil via Dakar after undergoing all relevant checks by the manufacturer.
â€œThe aircraft will further undergo mandatory test before being issued its certificate of airworthiness by the regulatory authority, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).