Barely two weeks after the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) took over the management of Arik Airlines, the firm said it has been able to stabilize the wobbling airline by payment of salaries of workers and would soon return it to profitability.
A statement from spokesman for AMCON, Jude Nwauzor said although the airline now managed by Capt. Roy Ukpebo Ilegbodu, under the receivership of Mr. Oluseye Opasanya, were confronted with a barrage of challenges created by the sacked Arik management, he stated that they have been able to eventually surmount the problems to stabilize operations with the few aircraft on the fleet.
Nwauzor explained that unlike what obtained before the takeover, average On-Time-Performance (OTP) of Arik Air to different destinations has improved; Nigerian banks that hitherto turned their backs to Arik now cooperate and support the new management; engagement with international and local creditors have also been successful; just as discussions, he said, with critical service providers and industry stakeholders have yielded the much desired positive results.
He further stated that Arik has also paid the insurance premium, which was on the verge of expiring had AMCON not taken over on February 9, 2017.
His words, “Arik has also commenced the payment of outstanding salaries, which has greatly boosted staff morale as well as performance. Arik is also in discussion with different creditors and stakeholders to recall a good number of aircraft into the fleet as soon as possible, which will increase the number of daily flights. Aside from that, a good number of affected passengers have been refunded while efforts are on to reach out to those yet to get their refund as a result of suspension of flights to some routes.”
There are indications that the former managers of the carriers owed workers over seven months’ salary arrears and all its creditors all over the world.
As a result of these positive developments, Nwauzor said customers of the airline, especially from the corporate circle are gradually coming back with assurances of stable and professional management with improving performance record within a short period, which he noted is buoyed by the fact that Arik has unparalleled safety record that speaks for itself in the history of aviation in the country.
The new management of the airline under the auspices of AMCON, he reiterated has held series of fruitful engagements with major suppliers of aviation fuel (ATK), and agreements reached for regular supplies of the product to Arik, which has guaranteed regular flights.
In a related development, the new management of Arik during the week sent out a communication to its numerous customers and stakeholders across the country and beyond.
“The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), in furtherance of its statutory mandate has appointed Mr. Oluseye Opasanya, SAN (the Receiver) as Receiver/Manager over all the assets and entire undertakings ofArik Air Limited (Arik Air) pursuant to a Deed of Appointment dated 06 February 2017.
“By virtue of his appointment, the Receiver has engaged the services of an experienced and capable technical partner, Captain Roy Ukpebo Ilegbodu, a veteran aviation expert with over 35 years’ experience, to provide seamless management and transitional services to Arik Air, with minimal disruptions to the Company’s operations and overall business…We thank you for your continued support and appreciate your patronage of Arik Air.”