14 February 2017

Nigeria: Arik Suspends London, Johannesburg Flight Services

Photo: Arik Air
(file photo).

Lagos — In line with the planned realignment of operations to cope with the existing facilities, Arik Air has suspended flight services to London, United Kingdom and Johannesburg in South Africa.

It would be recalled that Arik Air was taken over last week by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) over a huge indebtedness.

Following the takeover of the largest domestic carrier, it was discovered that the airline's 30-fleet size had shrunk to nine which explains the necessity to scale down operations.

The new management of the airline in a statement on Tuesday informed passengers of the suspension of its international flight operation.

The airline had earlier suspended its flight to New York, United State when the aircraft dedicated for the route was grounded, leaving the airline flying only regional and domestic routes.

It said the decision was to enable it "find permanent solution facing our passengers as it will enable us to carry out a thorough assessment of the situation".

According to the statement, arrangements are also being made to refund all international passengers of the airline that are affected by this decision.

The statement reads: "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.

"To our international creditors, Arik is most grateful for your patience and understanding. We reassure 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. We appeal to all passengers to kindly bear with us as the decision is to ensure that the airline adheres strictly to international aviation best practices".

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