By Ikechi Uko
One of Nigeria’s most loved Airlines Aero may never come back from its temporary shutdown.
This is how Nicon Airways, Chanchangi and Air Nigeria sneaked out of the Airspace.
Aero is not supposed to be in such a bad situation with its history and super support by well heeled owners. It’s success story with Rotary wings operation in the Oil and Gas sector in Nigeria, all but guaranteed it’s success in fixed wings operation. Its rich clientele and a reputation of safety oiled its smooth take off.
But in less than 10 years of fixed wing Operations the success story unravelled.
Because it was a family owned business the seeds of its failure is tied to the fortunes of the owning family.
The owners it is being alleged borrowed money from a family owned bank to buy Aircraft but ended up buying less and spending more. Not Long after the bank owned and managed by the same family got into Trouble and AMCON the Asset management Corporation of Nigeria bailed out the bank and took over its Liabilities which now included the Airline.
From that point it was a race to the bottom. Obviously overstaffed for the size of its Operation the crazy political and economic situation in Nigeria Exacerbated its dire situation.
Once Aero pulled out of its only dollar generating destination of Accra it’s end was hastened.
The story then was that it was a temporary situation to enable Aero recover its Aircraft on Ground AOG. It was even said that Aero had paid Embraer the balance of the deposit made by Air Nigeria and will soon be taking delivery of a brand new E190.
All that is fairy tales now as their Equity partner CHC has taken Aero to court in Nigeria to recover its investments. The case came up on Thursday in a Lagos High Court attended by officials from CHC who flew in for the case.
This effectively marks the end of the wonderful but sad story of Aero. It shut down it’s operations in August. The Nigerian minister of Aviation has promised the workers that Aero will not go down but the reality looks different. Aero is down and might be counted out soon.
Experts are lining up to discuss this issue at the 12th Akwaaba Aviation day Conference on the 31st of October at Eko Hotel.
With the topic Aviation in Africa and Why Airlines Fail, the 2nd Aviation day at Akwaaba will draw on the experience of major players in Nigerian Aviation.
The most Influential Players in Aviation between 1999 and 2010 will be sharing their experience.
Harold Demuren former DG of NCAA, Richard Aisebeogun Former MD of Federal Airport Authority FAAN and the former COO of Overland Airways and ADC airlines will be joined by Capt Dapo Olumide former MD of Virgin Nigeria, Edmund Yomi Jones former MD of Nigeria Airways, Capt Mike Omokore a search and Rescue expert and Kenyan Female Aviator Dorcas Aketch formerly of Kenya Airways, Virgin Nigeria and lately Rwandair will be pointing the way out of the Miasma.
Akwaaba African Travel Market is a 3day Travel expo in its 12 year now. It will be holding from the 30th to the 1st of November at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos.
30 speakers have been lined up to discuss Aviation and Tourism in Africa.
Already Exhibitors from Kenya, Bahrain, Dubai, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Benin Republic are booked for the 3 day expo.