FG to return 10 Arik’s aircraft stranded overseas
Barely 24 hours after taking over the management of Arik Air, the Federal Government has pledged to return at least 10 aircraft stranded overseas into the fleet of the airline.
The 10 aircraft, as at the time of change in management, were said to have gone overseas for mandatory C-checks, but said to be stuck due to unpaid maintenance cost running into millions of dollars. Meanwhile, the Deputy Managing Director of Arik Air, prior to AMCON’s takeover, Capt. Ado Sanusi, has been commissioned as the new Chief Executive Officer of Aero Contractors. Sanusi takes over from Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, who was recently appointed Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) by the Federal Government.
It would be recalled that Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), owned by the Federal Government, on Thursday took over the control of Arik Air to save the carrier from collapse due to heavy financial debt burden. Arik, the largest carrier in West and Central Africa, was accused of bad corporate governance, erratic operational challenges, inability to pay staff salaries and heavy debt burden, among others. The airline has, however, vowed to challenge the takeover in court.
AMCON yesterday said the airline has started receiving assistance to be able to offer flight services. Head of Corporate Communications Department of AMCON, Jude Nwauzor, said one of the immediate interventions was to recover the aircraft to complement the erstwhile large fleet of 28 that has been reduced to 10 functional aircraft and pay debts to creditors.