The federal government agency, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, (AMCON) has taken over the embattled Arik Airline.
The Airline has been enmeshed in several challenges including bad corporate governance, erratic operational challenges, inability to pay staff salaries heavy debt burden, among others.
These challenges prompted AMCON to intervene before Arik goes under like many before it.
AMCON, in a statement said: “We assure all stakeholders that the intervention is in the best interest of the general public, workers, creditors and other aviation interest groups.”
The development will afford Arik Airlines, which is the largest local carrier, to go back to regular and undisrupted operations.
It will, henceforth, avoid job losses, protect investors and stakeholder funds as well as ensure safety and stability in the already challenged aviation sector.
The airline is to be managed by Capt. Roy Ukpebo Ilegbodu, a veteran aviation expert under the receivership of Oluseye Opasanya.
Explaining the rationale for the latest intervention in Arik Airlines, Senator Hadi Siriki, minister of State for Aviation, said:
“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.
He added 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 in the leadership and management of Arik Airline.
Similarly, Capt. Ilegbodu, under the receivership of Opasanya, SAN has also assured both staff of the troubled airline and all other stakeholders of the goodwill of his appointment.
He said that his appointment 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.
It could be recalled that on February 8, Arik temporarily suspended its flight operations to the United States.
It claimed that the two Airbus A330-200 aircraft dedicated to the route have been taken to France for C check at the same time.
Meanwhile, more than eight aircrafts are currently grounded at the tarmac making it difficult to meet their routine commercial flights.
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