Arik Airline Resumes Flight Operations

Arik Air Operations Grounded Over Union Protest Arik airline has resumed services after flight operations were disrupted on Thursday, following the protests by aviation unions in Lagos.

This followed the intervention of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), which said that both parties have agreed to sheathe their sword.

The union workers had accused the current management of the airline of unwillingness to open talks with them over different issues, including the sacking of its members.

In February, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria had announced the takeover of Arik as a result of the airline’s alleged bad debt.

Some staff of the airline on the other hand, staged a counter protest, denouncing the action of the aviation workers unions, saying that the company was being negatively affected by their action.

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.

Government Takes Over Arik Airline

Arik Air Operations Grounded Over Union Protest The Federal Government has taken over Arik Airline, which has been experiencing difficulties in recent times.

According to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), the decision to intervene “clearly underscores the government’s commitment to instilling sanity in the country’s aviation sector and prevent a major catastrophe.

The airline will now be managed by Roy Ukpebo Ilegbodu, an aviation expert, under Mr Oluseye Opasanya, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika expressed the belief that the development will bring about stability in the airline.

“We believe that this appointment is timely and will stabilize the operations of the airline. This will enhance the long term economic value of Arik Air and revitalize the airline’s ailing operations as well as sustain safety standards, in view of Arik Air’s pivotal role in the Nigerian aviation sector.”

The Minister further pledged that the Federal Ministry of Aviation would support the new management of the strategic carrier adding that all necessary steps have been taken to ensure that there would be no undue disruption on Arik’s regular business operations or activities of other stakeholders, on account of the recent changes its leadership and management.

In the same vein, Capt. Ilegbodu, under the receivership of Opasanya, has also assured both staff of the troubled airline and all other stakeholders that his appointment at Arik would among other objectives enhance the value of Arik, improve customer experience, and sustain the safety, reliable and secure operational history of the airline before all those were eroded.

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.

Ebola: NCAA Screens Passengers, Suspends Asky Airline Over Virus

askyNigeria’s Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said it had started screening passengers arriving from places at risk from Ebola and had suspended Pan-African Airline, Asky, for bringing the first case to Lagos.

The Federal Ministry of Health’s Port Service Director, Sani Gwarzo, urged aviation stakeholders to be abreast of the dangers posed by the virus. It has been reported that Port Health officials have been deployed in Lagos and Abuja airports’ arrival halls to test passengers for symptoms of Ebola.

“Screening and monitoring is being done at all major airports. It entails checking passengers’ temperatures with a hand-held machine,” NCAA spokesman, Sam Adurogboye, said. He added that this was meant for any journey that passed through Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone.

A compulsory blood test would follow if the passenger’s temperature gave cause for concern, he said.

International Airlines Association said that the World Health Organisation was not recommending any travel restrictions or border closures due to the outbreak, and says there would be a low risk to other passengers if an Ebola patient flew.

A consultant for Liberia’s Finance Ministry, Patrick Sawyer, in his 40s, collapsed on arrival at the Lagos airport on July 20 on an Asky flight.

He was put in isolation at the First Consultants Hospital in Obalende, one of the most crowded parts of the city, but died early on July 25.

“We have suspended Asky until they are able to show us what measures they have put in place for passengers to ensure they do not bring Ebola,” Adurogboye said.

Authorities were monitoring 59 people who were in contact with Sawyer, including airport contacts, and had been seeking to make contact with all passengers that were on his flight. The latest outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever began in the forests of remote Eastern Guinea in February.

It starts with headaches and fever, and final stage symptoms include external and internal bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea.

Sierra Leone declared a State of Emergency and called in troops to quarantine epicenters of Ebola on Thursday.

Ebola has been blamed for 729 deaths in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, according to the World Health Organization. One died in Lagos, a crowded city of 21 million people.

Jonathan Commends Arik For Air Lifting Super Eagles

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday commended the Chairman of Arik Air, Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide and his company for air lifting the country’s victorious football team, Super Eagles from South Africa.

President Jonathan who is still relishing the country’s success at the just concluded African Cup of Nations in South Africa where the Super Eagles emerged as Champion, in a letter to the chairman of the airline said, “your very kind gesture of providing the aircraft that brought our gallant and victorious team and officials back home from South Africa was an act of high patriotism worthy of note.”

He expressed confidence that Arumemi-Ikhide “will continue to avail the nation of your worthy endowments in the future.”

The President challenged “others to emulate your demonstration of enduring faith in Nigeria.”

Arik Air owes us over N7 billion – FAAN

The Managing Director of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN),  George Uriesi on Friday said that Arik Air owes the authority over N7 billion.

Mr Uriesi, who was a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, said Arik Air’s debt resulted from the company’s refusal to the mandatory parking and landing charges.

“I have come to the conclusion that the business module of Arik is to operate and get by without paying its bills,” the FAAN boss said.

The airline company, while announcing the suspension of flight operations in Lagos on Thursday had said that said operations would not resume until FAAN and the Ministry of Aviation resolve the issue and reconcile the accounts, to settle the crisis arising from the debt issue.

Chris Ndulue, Arik Air’s Vice President had said the allegation that the airline was indebted to FAAN was fictitious and malicious, adding that the airline only had about N1.6 billion debts outstanding before the authority introduced the pay- as –you- go system of payment.

According to him, the airline did not owe N7.2 billion as claimed by FAAN.

Mr Uriesi however debunked the claims by the company saying that Arik Air’s statement was meant to deceive Nigerians.

“To my shock yesterday, they actually deceived Nigerians by saying that for the past 18 months they’ve been ‘paying as you go’, which is not true

“What happened 18 months ago was another way of rescuing ourselves from not getting paid because the passengers, if you fly you pay us a thousand naira for passenger service charge. The law says that money is on the ticket.

“But the airlines, particularly Arik were never remitting this money to FAAN. So we decided about 18 months ago to going back to what airports use to do in the 60s, printing special tickets for the passenger service charge to force the airline to buy upfront. If we allow it to be on the tickets, they will never remit the money to us. It is our money,” he said.

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