Arik Air Sacks Pilots Over ‘Gross Acts Of Indiscipline’

Arik Air Operations Grounded Over Union Protest 
Arik Air

 

Arik Air has sacked some pilots for embarking on a strike action without following due process. 

The airline’s PR and Communication Manager, Adebanji Ola, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday, describing their action as a “gross act of indiscipline.”

“The Pilots did not serve a strike notice in accordance with labour laws. They neither submitted any issue of dispute to the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), their umbrella union nor did they submit any statement of demands to the management of the company,” the statement added.

“There were also no ongoing discussions between the management and the Pilots on any unresolved labour issues. Their actions were spontaneous and callous.”

READ ALSO: Arik Air Flight Delayed In Asaba Over ‘Face-Mask’ Row

It said during the pilots’ action, several flights were cancelled, leaving passengers stranded.

The company explained that the pilots’ actions, especially considering the Yuletide season which is a peak period in the aviation industry, is nothing but treachery.

“They peddle for naught the reputation and financial health of the company,” the company noted.

According to Arik Air, the airline recently had discussions with aviation unions on the conditions of service for staff, leading to “the signing of a robust condition of service and redundancy benefits for staff”.

Arik Air Flight Delayed In Asaba Over ‘Face-Mask’ Row

A file photo of Arik Air planes on the tarmac.

 

An Arik Air flight was delayed in Asaba on Thursday after a row over the wearing of face masks ensued between a passenger and flight officials, the airline has said.

A video of the incident had emerged online showing someone apparently being bundled out of the airplane by security officials as other passengers looked stranded on the tarmac.

In its statement, Arik Air said the passenger who was removed had been “unruly”.

 

“On Thursday, December 16, 2021, an Arik Air flight from Asaba which was originally scheduled to depart for Lagos at 4:50pm was later rescheduled for 8:30pm. At the commencement of boarding, the first set of passengers to enter the plane was a man and a lady claiming to be the man’s wife. The man was without a face mask and the lead crew asked him to comply with the COVID-19 boarding protocol. The passenger not only refused to use his face mask, he also turned down the use of hand sanitizer and pushed the lead crew out of the way,” the Arik Air statement said.

READ ALSO: Customs Intercept Container Suspected To Be Laden With Guns In Lagos

“The passenger then began to shout at the top of his voice and Arik Air’s Asaba Station Manager went to appeal to him for calm. He refused and continued to make video recording of the scene with his phone. He refused to listen to the Captain as well. Meanwhile the rest of the passengers were on ground waiting to board the aircraft.

“After several appeals were made to him by the SAHCOL Station Manager, Asaba Airport Company Senior Manager on Quality and Safety and others, the passenger had to be forced out of the plane by a combined team of Airport Security and Police at 9:15pm.

“Arik Air strongly condemns such unruly behaviour by passengers on board any of its flights and advices that such actions could attract flight ban or sanctions prescribed by the regulatory Authority.

“Arik Air will continue to operate at the highest standards obtainable in the industry and advices customers to endeavour to comply with all safety instructions issued by the crew.”

Arik Air Sacks 300 Workers

Arik Air Operations Grounded Over Union Protest 
A photo of Arik Air

 

The management of Arik Air has sacked 300 workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was contained in a statement issued on Friday by the airline’s spokesman, Adebanji Ola.

“Arising from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the constrained ability of the airline to complete heavy maintenance activities and return its planes to operations, stunted revenues against increasing operational costs, the management of Arik Air (In Receivership) has declared 300 staff members redundant to its current level of operations,” the statement partly read.

“The leadership of the impacted unions have been contacted to negotiate a redundancy package for the affected staff.”

READ ALSO: OPEC, Allies Meet To Discuss Oil Production Cuts

The statement noted that over “50 per cent of Arik Air’s workforce of over 1,600 staff” has been on an unpaid leave of absence in the past six months on a base allowance.

While noting that decisions to let go of staff are naturally a difficult one, the airline wished the impacted staff well in their future endeavours.

Aviation Unions Shut Down Arik Air

Arik Air Operations Grounded Over Union Protest 
A photo of Arik Air

 

Two aviation unions on Monday shut down the operations of Arik Air over non-payment of salaries.

They are the National Union of Air Transport Employees and the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria.

The unions claim that the salaries of the staff have not been paid since April after placing 90 percent of the workforce on compulsory leave and other anti-labour practices.

Among the demands of the unions are payment of outstanding salaries arrears, signing of conditions of service, remittance of pension, tax, and statutory deductions to the appropriate authorities.

The unions say the strike will continue indefinitely until their demands are met by the management of the airline.

Arik Air, Aero Two Others Suspend All Flight Operations

 

Arik Air has announced that it will temporarily suspend all scheduled commercial flight operations effective 11:00 pm on Friday, March 27, 2020.

According to a statement by the airline’s CEO, Captain Roy Ilegbodu, the decision is being taken to mitigate the risk of the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst its customers and staff.

It also noted that customers who have confirmed tickets can still use their tickets when operations resume.

“Such tickets can be modified at no extra charge,” the statement read as the CEO stated that they hope to resume services as soon as feasible.
“We regret any inconveniences this may have caused you.

“Your safety and well-being is paramount at this period of health emergency. We implore everyone to keep safe and abide by all directives issued by governmental authorities”.

Read Also: COVID-19: Use Of Chloroquine Has Not Been Approved, NCDC Warns Nigerians

In the same vein, Aero Contractors has announced that effective March 26, 2020, it will suspend flight operations for 14 days in line with the exigencies of COVID-19.

The airline said it regrets any inconveniences caused to its customers as the safety of passengers and staff remain their focus.

Other airlines that have also suspended operations include Dana Air and Air Peace.

COVID-19: Arik Air Suspends Flights To West Coast

Arik Air Operations Grounded Over Union Protest 

 

Arik Air has announced the temporary suspension of flights to all its West Coast destinations effective from Monday, March 23, 2020.

The management of the airline took the decision after a careful analysis of the novel CoronaVirus Disease (COVID-19) which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“The safety and well-being of our personnel and valued customers are paramount at this critical time. We do not want to take chances and this is why we have taken this decision,” Chief Executive Officer of Arik Air, Captain Roy Ilegbodu, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Read Also: Lagos State Bans Religious Gathering Of Over 50 People

The airline also apologised to customers whose travel plans may have been affected by the suspension of flights and promised to mitigate the effects by ensuring a prompt refund of tickets.

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.

Read Also: Senate Confirms Modibbo Tukur As NFIU Director

 

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.

READ ALSO: Fashola Warns Contractors Against Substandard Work On Federal Roads

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.