…We’ve resolved to transform Arik—AMCON
Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has been accused of allegedly cannibalizing Arik Air aircraft, a Bombardier Dash 8Q400 aircraft to provide spare parts for Aero fleet.
It was gathered that an engine of the Bombardier marked 5N-BKV was removed and fixed on aero aircraft.
It was further learnt that it was the second engine of the aircraft that was removed in a lease agreement in which Aero would be paying Arik $25,000 a month until the engine was returned to Arik.
“The agreement term that Aero agrees to pay $25,000 a month for the engine is exploitative and against the interest of Arik because in other parts of the world when this lease arrangement is done the airline pays for the engine per hour, pays for maintenance reserve for the engine. This was not done in the so-called lease between Arik and Aero,” said a source.
Beside the engine, it was also gathered that some other parts were removed from the aircraft.
“You cannibalize Arik aircraft and give the parts to Aero. It is not only that engine that was taken away but other parts were taken away. The engine taken away is engine number two.
“Since AMCON took over Aero five years ago, its debts have increased and its fleet depleted. They talked about corporate governance but under that corporate governance Aero has not improved; rather its existence is being threatened.
“When AMCON took over Arik, the airline had 15 serviceable aircraft but AMCON claimed they were 10. Now, from that 10, Arik has four aircraft. The new management owes all fuel markers N450 million,” said the source.
An official of Aero who spoke anonymously acknowledged the engine lease saying the deal is a legal and an international practice.
He added that the airline could have leased the engine from any other airline in the world, but it decided to take that of Arik because the money being paid would remain in the country.
Meanwhile, AMCON said the airline maintains the highest operational safety standards adding that it is not be distracted as it has resolved to transform the airline
Speaking through SY&T, its consultant, AMCON said: “The management of Arik, under receivership, is not distracted. Arik will continue to maintain the highest operational and safety standards, which the airline has been known for since its inception in 2006.
“The takeover of the airline by AMCON and the appointment of a receiver manager has not in any way eroded the confidence of the flying public and all other business partners of the largest carrier in Nigeria.
“The new management team led by Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, a veteran aviation expert with over 30 years’ experience, is more safety conscious.
“Capt. Ilegbodu has worked at the highest level as a regulator when he served the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and had successfully managed at least two major airlines in the country, which is why he is well regarded and respected in the airline industry,” said AMCON.