United Airlines Announces The Start of Lagos, Nigeria Services

17 September, 2021

A United Airlines Boeing 787 rotates out of San Francisco. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

This week United Airlines filed flights between Lagos, Nigeria and Washington Dulles from November 29, 2021. Initially, these flights were announced in September 2020, with a scheduled launch date in the Spring of 2021. However, United Airlines received Nigerian government approval for the route to the Nigerian capital recently.

On the leg from Washington Dulles to Lagos, United Airlines Flight 612 departs at 6:30 P.M. and arrives at 10:40 A.M, for a total flight time of 10 hours and 10 minutes. The aircraft sits in Lagos for 13 hours, before flying the return leg from Lagos to Washington Dulles. The Chicago-based carrier departs at 11:50 P.M. and arrives at 6 A.M, for a total flight time of 12 hours and 10 minutes.

On the departure leg to Lagos, United Airlines operates on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, arriving on the next day. Meanwhile, on the return leg, United Airlines operates on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, arriving the next day. 

These flights will utilize United Airlines’ Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, which features a new retrofit seating 243 passengers. Specifically, the aircraft includes 28 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration in its Polaris business class; 21 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration in its Premium Plus cabin; 36 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration in its economy plus cabin and 158 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration in its economy class cabin.

Lagos, Nigeria will become the fourth point on United Airlines’ Africa route map. Currently, United Airlines flies from Washington Dulles to Accra, Ghana and from Newark to Johannesburg. A flight from Newark to Cape Town, South Africa will resume in early December 2021, after its initial launch in December 2019.

In the past, United Airlines began its first flights to Africa in 2010, connecting Washington Dulles with a daily connector route to Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria, using a Boeing 767-300. Due to Nigerian government approval, the launch of the connection to Lagos was postponed until December 2010, per AirlineRoute. 

Ultimately, this flight was replaced with a daily connection between the energy hubs of Houston and Lagos, Nigeria, in late 2011, using a Boeing 777-200ER. Meanwhile, flights to Accra, Ghana were cut in July 2012. The sole flight to Africa lasted five years until 2016 when it was terminated due to a weak energy sector at the time. Per a memo from United Airlines, the airline pulled the route due to poor financial performance over the last several years, investing in it due to its importance with Houston’s business customers.

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