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United Airlines Inaugurates
Houston-Lagos Flights 

November 28, 2011

  © Houston Airport System
  The new non-stop flight should reduce travel time to Lagos by more than six hours.
United Airlines inaugurated the first daily scheduled passenger service between Texas and Africa on November 16, with new non-stop flights between Houston and Lagos, Nigeria.

The service links the two energy capitals on a route which no other airline currently serves.

“This flight connects two of the energy capitals of the world and it also provides a bridge between two cultures,” says Houston Airport System director Mario C. Diaz. “Houston is the most international city in the state of Texas and it just got more international with this flight.”

The inaugural flight featured a celebration inside George Bush Intercontinental Airport’s Terminal E facility, with Nigerian music and dancers to help mark the occasion.

Flight 142 departed Houston after the celebration, bound for arrival at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos in 11 hours, 35 minutes. Passengers will fly in a Boeing 777 aircraft in the immediate future.

The plane features a total of 276 seats, with 50 located in BusinessFirst and 226 in Economy. United Airlines will eventually utilize Boeing’s newest aircraft, the 787 Dreamliner.

Jeff Smisek, the president and CEO of United Continental Holdings Inc., was also on hand for the launch celebration and he says the arrival of the flight and the future arrival of the Dreamliner aircraft are both strong indications that Houston will play a key role in the airlines’ future plans.

“We are committed to Houston,” Smisek says. “We understand how important a hub is and we understand how important it is to have a hometown airline. United Airlines is the hometown airline of Houston and this flight shows that.”

Lagos is the economic, commercial and cultural center of Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa and like Houston, is considered to be an energy hub for its home region. Passengers flying from Houston to Lagos in the past were typically forced to stop in Europe on their way to the African continent. The new non-stop service is expected to reduce roundtrip travel time by more than six hours.
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