Arik cuts schedule over low capacity
The airline, which might have reduced local operations by 50 per cent, is struggling with about four aircraft out of nine it had in operations.
Arik, in a statement, said its fleet had witnessed a reduction in number in the last two weeks due to some aircraft going overseas for maintenance in Europe.
The management stated that in order to maintain schedule integrity and ensure flights depart on time, it had to cut down on the number of flights operated daily.
The airline further stated that as a safety conscious airline, it takes aircraft maintenance very seriously. It, however, assures its customers that the aircraft will start returning from maintenance in the next few days while scheduled operations will be back to normal in a couple of weeks.
Recall that the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), a special purpose vehicle of the Federal Government for the recovery of debts, took over Arik Air in February 2017. The rationale was to save the airlines from imminent collapse, citing gross mismanagement by the owners and debt in excess of N300 billion.
The government had injected the sum of N1 billion into its operations to stabilise the airlines. Besides paying salaries and meeting basic obligations, about nine out of 30 aircraft owned by Arik returned to operation, sustaining both local and regional operations.
However, about two years since AMCON took over, stakeholders had recently raised concerned that the airline was still moribund, and might explain why the carrier is a hard sell to new investors.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Arik Air, Captain Roy Ilegbodu, said Arik regretted any inconvenience that customers may suffer due to the schedule adjustment.
Ilegbodu said: “We are almost done with the checks and our customers will start seeing the effect with improved services.”
The airline appealed to its customers to bear with it at this period while assuring that their safety and comfort will not be compromised.