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The Asset Management Corporation of
Nigeria (AMCON) which took over the management of the airline on behalf
of the government said it discovered “deep rooted rot” at Arik Airlines.

The new management in a statement on
Sunday said “The situation is so bad that only nine aircrafts out of
the 30 in the fleet of the airlines is operational. 21 of them have
either been grounded, gone for C-check in Europe among other forms of
challenges.

“As if these problems are not
enough, the airline does not have money to procure aviation fuel for the
nine operational aircrafts because no dealer wants to sell aviation
fuel to Arik if it is not on cash-and-carry basis. This also calls for
public understanding because flight schedules may be realigned based on
the nine aircrafts that are available, technically sound and ready for
flight operation”.

It was also discovered that Arik
also owes its technical partners and also in perpetual default in its
lease payments and insurance premium, leading to regular and
embarrassing squabbles with different business partners, which accounts
for why 21 aircrafts is off the fleet for different reasons. 

All these problems in addition to
huge staff salaries, which have remained unpaid for 11 months; vendors
that supply different items to Arik Airlines that are also owed meant
that Nigerians may have to tarry-a-while to allow the new management
clean up the huge mess at the airline before Arik would finally resume
uninterrupted flight.

The new Chief Executive Officer of
Arik Airlines, Capt. Roy Ukpebo Ilegbodu, a veteran aviation expert
under the receivership of Mr. Oluseye Opasanya, SAN however reassured
Nigerians that these issues; though daunting, would be gradually
resolved to enable Arik Airlines, which carries about 55% of the load in
the country recover the 21 aircrafts. 

He maintained that the recent
intervention was in the best interest of all stakeholders, the general
public, workers, creditors and other aviation interest groups in the
country.

 Source: Daily Trust

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