The Federal Government on Thursday took over the airline through the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria due to a debt profile of over N300bn, according to the Punch
The new management of Arik Air has said it inherited nearly an empty shell of a carrier with only 10 out of the 28 aircraft in its fleet functional at the moment and the company would require N10bn to fix before the airline would be able to resume full and uninterrupted flight operations to its regular routes across the country and beyond.
The Capt. Roy Ilegbodu led management statement yesterday, “As if these problems are not enough, the airline does not have money to procure aviation fuel for the nine operational aircraft because no dealer wants to sell aviation fuel to Arik except it is on a cash-and-carry basis. This also calls for public understanding because flight schedules may be realigned based on the nine aircraft that are available and are technically sound and ready for flight operations.
“It was also discovered that Arik also owes its technical partners and is 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 18 aircraft are off the fleet for different reasons.
“All these problems, in addition to huge staff salaries, which have remained unpaid for 11 months, and vendors that supply different items to Arik Air who 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 will finally resume uninterrupted flights.”