Arik Air, which was recently taken over by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), has suspended its flights to London and Johannesburg.
The airline’s management said in a statement issued in Lagos that the suspension of flights to the two international destinations is meant to enable the management find permanent solution “facing our passengers as it will enable us to carry out a thorough assessment of the situation.”
“The strategic business decision is meant to realign our operations and refocus on satisfying our domestic and West Africa and other international passengers.
“It will also present Arik with excellent opportunity to engage and discuss with creditors who have become restive since the intervention and have also understandably exhausted their patience due to non-payment of accumulated debt and non-performance on services and contracts,” said the management.
Meanwhile, the airline said arrangements had been made to refund all international passengers of the airline that are affected by this decision.
It appealed to all the passengers to “kindly bear with us as the decision is to ensure that the airline adheres strictly to international aviation best practices.”
Furthermore, it expressed appreciation to its international creditors for their patience and understanding and assured them that “all pending issues with the airline will be duly addressed as a matter of priority as we plan to engage them in this regard.”
“The international route is very critical for the strategic turn around, growth strategy and stability of the airline. Therefore we intend to revisit the routes immediately we address all the problems inherited, which is affecting and creating more dissatisfied passenger base,” it added.
It would be recalled that AMCON took over the management of Arik Air on February 9, 2017.
The airline had been struggling with debt overhang estimated at N300b.
It appointed Capt. Roy Ukpebo Ilegbodu as the managing director under the receivership of Mr. Seyi Opasanya (SAN).
It said the airline “has been going through difficult times that are attributable to its bad corporate governance, erratic operational challenges, inability to pay staff salaries and heavy debt burden among other issues, which led to the call for authorities in the country to intervene before Arik goes under like many before it.”