Senate To Investigate Alleged Malfunction Of Arik Aircraft

Arik Air Operations Grounded Over Union Protest 
File Photo

 

The Senate has directed its committee on aviation to investigate an alleged recent malfunction of an aircraft belonging to Arik Air.

The upper chamber at plenary on Wednesday called for the investigation after the majority whip, Olusola Adeyeye, narrated his experience on board an Arik Aircraft, to the lawmakers.

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Senator Adeyeye stated that there is a need for the upper chamber to take a second look at the safety standards of not just the airline, but the aviation sector as a whole.

He said, “In recent times as I’ve had to crisscross the length and breadth of Nigeria because of the frenzy of political activities, I’ve come to the sad observation that too many times, our aircraft are run with substandard services.

“In particular, often they are late, way too late. But I’ve had the misfortune of flying the same aircraft three times.

“It is labelled ‘Queen of Angel’ on Arik. All three times, the air condition did not work, and I approached the crew and they told me that they were aware and each time they would say, we were supposed to have serviced this aircraft today and they’ve said that three times.

“I believe I owe it to this republic and to myself to alert us that every time an aircraft is not serviced on time, it is danger waiting to happen.

“I believe it is good for us to have good aviation services but when the lives of passengers are at risk, something should be done”.

Arik Air Reacts After ‘Smoking’ Plane Makes Emergency Landing

Nigerian airline, Arik Air has explained why one of its airplane travelling from Lagos to Accra, Ghana, made an emergency landing on Tuesday.

The aircraft made the emergency landing after the pilot detected a smoke coming from its cabin.

The Airline in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Adebanji Ola, on Thursday explained why the emergency landing was declared noting that the Captain duly briefed the passengers when the incident occurred.

Arik Air flight W3 304 from Lagos to Accra on March 6, 2018, declared an emergency in line with standard operating procedures when an unknown source of the smoke was detected in the cabin 81 miles from Accra.

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The captain of the flight briefed the passengers accordingly assuring them that the aircraft was under control and safe for landing in Accra.

The aircraft, a Dash 8 Q400, landed safely in Accra without further incident and all passengers disembarked normally.”

The spokesperson said further in the statement that a team of engineers are currently conducting inspections on the aircraft which is now parked in Accra, Ghana.

The aircraft is currently parked in Acrra and our team of engineers are conducting comprehensive inspections on the aircraft to ascertain the cause of the smoke, after which the aircraft will be flown without passengers to a maintenance facility for rectification and testing.

The relevant aviation authorities in Ghana and Nigeria have been briefed appropriately on the incident,” he said.

A passenger of the airplane had earlier on Thursday taken to the social media to complain over the alleged ill-treatment of the passengers on the flight when the ‘smoking’ plane eventually landed in Ghana, an experience which he said left many in shock.

The Nigerian government on Wednesday summoned the Minister of State Aviation, Hadi Sirika in reaction to the Dana Air accident and also ordered a complete audit of the airline’s operations.

The Senate asked the Minister to appear before lawmakers at Plenary and explain the reason for the recent air mishaps and near fatalities in the country.

Arik Air To Go To Court Over Takeover

Arik Air To Go To Court Over Takeover The management of Arik Air has said it will challenge the take-over of the airline by the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), in court.

The Senior Vice President, Operations at Arik Air Capt. Ado Sanusi, said this at a news briefing with the newly appointed receiver Manager, Mr Oluseye Opasanya (SAN), and the airline’s technical consultant, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu.

Capt. Sanusi said the Arik management had been served with a valid court order empowering AMCON to take over the affairs of the airline to which it has complied so that Arik Air would continue to run without any disruption.

The Corporate Communications Department of the agency, revealed in a statement that the company has been immersed in heavy financial debt burden that was threatening to permanently ground the airline.

Furthermore, it revealed that: “The move, which clearly underscores government’s decision to instill sanity in the nation’s aviation sector has also prevented a major catastrophe that would among other factors protect, and preserve Arik Airlines as a going concern.

Arik Air Take Over Is A Timely Intervention – AMCON

arik airThe Asset Management Corporation Of Nigeria (AMCON), has described the Federal Government’s take over of operations of Arik Airline as a timely intervention.

The Corporate Communications Department of the agency, revealed in a statement that the company has been immersed in heavy financial debt burden that was threatening to permanently ground the airline.

“For some time now, the airline, which carries about 55% of the load in the country, has been going through difficult times that are attributable to its bad corporate governance, erratic operational challenges, inability to pay staff salaries and heavy debt burden among other issues, which led to the call for authorities in the country to intervene before Arik goes under like many before it.

“The move, which clearly underscores government’s decision to instill sanity in the nation’s aviation sector has also prevented a major catastrophe that would among other factors protect, and preserve Arik Airlines as a going concern.

“The development will afford Arik Airlines, which is the largest local carrier to go back to regular and undisrupted operations, avoid job losses, protect investors and stakeholder funds as well as ensure safety and stability in the already challenged aviation sector.”

AMCON further revealed that the airline recently suspended its flight operations to the John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, United States, claiming that the two Airbus A330-200 aircraft dedicated to the route have been taken to France for C check at the same time.

“Equally more than eight aircraft are currently grounded at the tarmac making it difficult to meet their routine commercial flights.

“The myriad of issues confronting Arik Air of late ranges from confiscation of aircraft due to non-payment of leases, frequent flight delays, constant fracas between Arik Staff and irate passengers at both local and international airports etc.

“During the last yuletide, passengers were stranded in airports all over the country due to Arik’s incessant flight delays and cancellations, which negatively affected the preference they enjoy from passengers. You are all living examples of this.

“The airline is so overwhelmed to the extent that the workers’ wages are not paid for several months, leading to occasional confrontation between the management of Arik and different Aviation Unions in the country.

“It was Arik’s inability to pay its workers for seven months that forced the United Labour Congress (ULC) and Engineers Union to recently shut the offices of the Airline across the country causing untold hardship to thousands of travelers and an embarrassment to the aviation sector in the country.

“Besides owing workers’ salaries, the Airline has also not been remitting the taxes of workers to relevant bodies thus also defrauding the country.

“The Airline is also in perpetual default in its lease payments and insurance premium, leading to regular and embarrassing repossession of its aircraft by lessors. Various class actions are pending against the airline all over the world.

“We assure all stakeholders that the intervention is in the best interest of the general public, workers, creditors and other aviation interest groups,” the statement read.

Arik airline would now be managed by Capt. Roy Ukpebo Ilegbodu, a veteran aviation expert under the receivership of Mr Oluseye Opasanya, SAN.

Arik Air Resumes Scheduled Flight Operations

Arik Air Operations Grounded Over Union Protest West and Central Africa’s largest carrier, Arik Air, has resumed scheduled flight operations after a meeting called by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to address the airline and the aviation unions.

The airline is operating flights from both Lagos and Abuja the evening of Tuesday, December 20 while full scheduled operations will resume from the morning of Wednesday, December 21, a statement released after the meeting read.

The airline has put in place extra flights to various domestic destinations between Wednesday and Saturday, December 24 and has also upgraded aircraft on certain routes to a bigger capacity to cope with the backlog of passengers whose flights were affected by the unions’ disruptive action earlier on Tuesday, December 20.

The statement said additional capacity had been allocated throughout the week from both Lagos and Abuja to Enugu, Asaba, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Benin, Warri, Uyo , Yola and other states. It says the scheduled would also enable many of their customers to get to their destinations for the yuletide season.

“Passengers whose flights were affected by the disruption on Tuesday, 20 December, 2016 are advised to contact 01-2799999 or via email to [email protected] for rebooking options,” the statement further read.

The operations of Arik Air was earlier grounded in Lagos following a protest by aviation unions.

The unions are under the auspices of the National Union of Air Transport Employees, Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria, and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers.

The unions had on Monday threatened to shut down the operations of the airline nationwide as they directed their members to commence picketing Arik Air with effect from Tuesday.

They had vowed to continue the action until all their concerns were addressed.

They were demanding, among other things, the payment of their seven-month salary arrears, unionisation of Arik Air employees and recall of all their colleagues who were sacked because of their roles in the unions.

Arik Air Resumes Flight Operations

Arik Air, Flight operationsA commercial air carrier in Nigeria, Arik Air, has resumed flight services for domestic, regional and international operations.

The airline, in a statement, explained that all its scheduled flights were operated yesterday, and pledged to sustain the tempo on a daily basis.

Arik Air’s operations were disrupted on Tuesday, over claims that they were unable to renew their insurance due to the two-day public holiday observed to mark the Eid-El-Kabir celebrations.

The airline added that the backlog of passengers from the disruption had already been accommodated, with extra flights introduced to minimize inconvenience to passengers.

First Nation Shifts Resumption Of Flight

First NationOne of Nigeria’s airlines, First Nation Airline has postponed resumption of its flight operations, earlier scheduled for Thursday.

The airline had on August 17 suspended operations to enable the aircraft in its fleet undergo engine maintenance.

According to reports, the airline may resume operations on September 17 immediately after maintenance is carried out on the aircraft.

The airline’s Director of Flight Operations, Capt. Chimara Imediegwu, had on September 6 told newsmen that a team of engineers were coming to Nigeria to service the planes.

Imediegwu had challenged the claims that the airline was on the verge of folding up, insisting that it voluntarily grounded the aircraft at enormous cost to await the arrival of the manufacturer’s team.

Arik Air Suspends Flight Operations

Arik Air, Arik Airline, Flight operations One of Nigeria’s flag carriers, Arik Air, on Tuesday announced a temporary disruption to its flight operations owing to its aircraft insurance renewal.

The airline said that it has been unable to process the necessary documentation because of the long weekend holidays declared for the Eid-el-Kabir festival.

Arik Air added that this situation would likely continue for the next few days until the National Insurance Commission approves a waiver on a priority basis to renew the policy.

The airline has said that flight operations would resume on Wednesday.

Arik is the third airline to suspend flight operations in Nigeria in the last three weeks following the suspension of flight by Aero Contractors and First Nation.

Arik Suspends Domestic Operations

ArikThe Aviation Union in the industry have grounded the operations of Nigeria’s carrier, Arik Air over what they described as a large debt of N12.5billion to Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.

The unions shutdown the airline’s operations on Wednesday after a yearlong negotiations failed.

Passengers are the most hit following the dispute as hundreds of them could not embark on their journey.

Meanwhile Arik Air has confirmed the situation, in a press statement issued by its management, the airline said the action by the workers’ union is connected with the long-standing and unsubstantiated claim by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) of high indebtedness to the agency which is now before a Federal High Court in Lagos at the instance of FAAN.

Arik said this is not the first time that FAAN workers’ union will be taking laws into their hands by disrupting its operations and that the airline is compelled to suspend all domestic operations for today, and this will remain in force until the unfortunate situation is resolved.

FG To Generate Over N4 Billion Savings On Annual Travel Costs

Kemi-Adeosun-finance-ministerThe Federal Ministry of Finance has disclosed that discussions with local and international airlines to secure discounts for travel by government officials are yielding positive results.

This was contained in a statement by the Special Adviser on Media to Minister of Finance, Mr Festus Akanbi, on Tuesday.

The statement added that “a review of Government overhead expenditure for the period 2012 to 2014 showed that travel was the largest single expenditure item.

“A cumulative total of N248 billion, equivalent to about 18% of total overhead expenditure, was spent on travel during the period.

“This translates to N83 billion per annum. At a conservative discount of 5% on ticket prices, the estimated savings per annum is approximately N4 billion”, it said.

The Ministry explained that given the large amount spent on travel, and consequently the significant potential for savings, “it is imperative that the Efficiency Unit prioritises travel as a key focus area for cost cutting and generation of savings.

“To this end the Efficiency Unit has engaged in negotiation discussions with local and international airlines for discounts commensurate with the large number of ticket purchases made by Government annually. The savings generated will increase funding available to the government for capital investment”.

The Ministry reiterated its commitment to cut costs and promote fiscal prudence and acknowledged the willingness of Arik Air to provide discounts on tickets purchased by the Government.

In addition to reducing government spend on travel, the Efficiency Unit has made proposals to the appropriate government authorities for the introduction of guidelines that will reduce the need for travel by localising the activities that necessitate travel, where feasible, and encouraging the use of ICT.

Other overhead expenditure items including insurance, advertising and fuel, where the government’s bargaining power can be leveraged are also being reviewed.

It further noted that administrative controls are being strengthened through the issuance of circulars detailing appropriate guidelines and the implementation of measures to enforce compliance.

Alleged Drug Trafficking: Arik Crew Member Arrested In London

arik airA male cabin crew member of Arik Air has been arrested at Heathrow Airport, London, by the United Kingdom Border Force for allegedly possessing items suspected to be banned substance.

The Airline is said to be carrying out private investigation to determine how the cabin crew member came about the banned substance.

Investigations revealed that the cabin crew member was caught with a substance weighing 2.76 kilogramme and suspected to be cocaine.

Spokesman for the Airline, Mr Ola Adebanji said that Arik Air will also cooperate fully with UK authorities and other appropriate agencies in their investigations.

In 2013, two of Arik Air crew members were arrested by Border Force Officials at Heathrow Airport after they were caught in possession of 6kg of cocaine.

Arik Air Resumes Limited Operations

ArikNigeria’s flag carrier, Arik Air, says it will resume limited operations on Sunday, May 3.

The Associate Vice President, Marketing and Communication, Jide Alade, made this known in a statement on Saturday.

“Arik Air resumes limited operations on 3 May with flights to London, New York JFK, Johannesburg and on limited domestic and regional routes.

“You will recall that the airline had cancelled all of its flights for today due to the scarcity of aviation fuel.

“Schedule and regular updates are available on their website,” he said.

Arik has been operating 20% of its daily flights schedule because of scarcity of aviation fuel, particularly in Lagos, its major hub.

The airline had on Friday, at a press briefing in Lagos, said that if the aviation fuel scarcity persisted, it could be forced to scale down more of its operations.

The airline, while apologising to customers about the delays and cancellations, explained that its 600-800 litres of fuel for its daily operations and current supply was lean and international flights have had to go to Ghana, Cotonou and sometimes Togo to get fuel before proceeding to London or the United States.

The airline operates about 120 flights on its domestic routes daily.