Nigeria’s Arik Air has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Emirates Airline, allowing the West African carrier to gain access to the Dubai-based airline’s global route network.

The new contract expands its existing one-way interline agreement, which connects Emirates passengers throughout Nigeria and West Africa via Arik Air’s network. Arab airlines are increasingly making inroads into West Africa, pulling passengers through their respective hubs.

“Both Emirates and Arik Air have expressed interest in exploring ways to expand on our existing commercial relationship and to look at different areas in which we can cooperate that will be mutually beneficial to both airlines, including seamless connectivity for our customers on our respective networks,” said  Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ divisional SVP-planning, aeropolitical and industry affairs. “We also intend to explore the potential of code share arrangements as passenger traffic flows mature between both parties’ networks.”

Emirates and Arik Air will explore other areas of cooperation including frequent flyer programs, as well as passenger and cargo handling.