Arik Air has urged its clients to ignore any message advising them to clear off the airline because of its poorly-maintained aircraft.
It would be recalled that earlier in the day, an anonymous Whatsapp message was sent round alleging that the airline has poor safety record and should be boycotted.
The message reads: “A pilot who just resigned/withdrew his services from ARIK has advised that if you have to fly, that you stay off ARIK for sometimes that they’ve not been maintaining the planes and DO NOT HAVE SPARE PARTS TO CHANGE bad ones at any point right now. Please take this information seriously for your own good for now.”
The airline’s spokesman, Mr. Ola Adebanji said in a statement issued in Lagos that the rumour “is the handiwork of mischief makers and one of our staff whose appointment was terminated…for misconduct and fraud.”
“Arik Air has been leading the resurgence of Nigerian civil aviation by committing to being a quality airline adhering and operating to international safety and operational standards using modern aircraft and having high maintenance and safety standards.
“This is evident in the airline achieving the stringent International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) four consecutive times with the last two audits cleared successfully without any findings.
“This achievement has also earned Arik Air Enhanced IATA Operational Safety Audit (EIOSA) making it the only airline in West and Central African region to have such certification.
“The airline operates the youngest fleet in West Africa with an average hull age of 7.8 years and has an existing contract with world renowned maintenance providers such as Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Cityline under full “turnkey” maintenance service contracts and other leading maintenance service providers such as SAMCO Engineering, South African Airways (SAA) Technical and Ethiopia Engineering.
Arik Air also maintains a well-stocked spares parts store with market value of over $250 million.
“The maintenance/engineering department of Arik Air has been audited severally by external auditors from the oil and gas sector who have attested to the airline’s provision of a safe and reliable aircraft operation, first class planning, efficient spares holding, whilst increasing aircraft utilization with no compromise on safety. “This department is responsible for reliability monitoring, original equipment manufacturers service letters and American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) notifications, ensuring Arik Air’s fleet is maintained according to standards complimenting Airworthiness at all times,” said Adebanji.