Arik Air Needs N10B To Stay Alive—Capt. Roy
The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) stated that the embattled airline; Arik Air that was taken over by the Federal Government using Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria(AMCON) would require N10 billion to resuscitate it.
The deep rooted rot is the latest discovery by the new management, which took over on February 9, 2017.
The latest shocker was made known in an online statement signed by the management today
The airline was on Thursday taken over by the Federal Government under the auspices of AMCON as a result of a whooping debt profile of over N300billion.
The situation is so bad that only nine aircraft out of the 30 in the fleet of the airlines is operational. The remaining 21 airplanes have either been grounded, gone for C-check in Europe among other forms of challenges.
As if these problems are not enough, the airline does not have money to procure aviation fuel for the nine operational aircraft because no dealer wants to sell aviation fuel to Arik if it is not on cash-and-carry basis.
According to Arik new management ,this also calls for public understanding because flight schedules may be realigned based on the nine aircrafts that are available, technically sound and ready for flight operation.
The management added that it was also discovered that Arik also owe its technical partners and also in perpetual default in its lease payments and insurance premium, leading to regular and embarrassing squabbles with different business partners, which accounts for why 21 aircraft are off the fleet for different reasons.
According to the management, all these problems in addition to huge staff salaries, which have remained unpaid for 11 months; vendors that supply different items to Arik Airlines that are also owed meant that Nigerians may have to tarry-a-while to allow the new management clean up the huge mess at the airline before Arik would finally resume uninterrupted flight.
However, the new Technical Consultant to the Receiver Manager, Capt. Roy Ukpebo Ilegbodu, a veteran aviation expert at the weekend reassured Nigerians that these issues though daunting, would be gradually resolved to enable Arik Airlines, which carries about 55 per cent of the load in the country recover the 21 aircrafts.
According to him, once all the aircraft are back, Arik Airlines would within the shortest possible time regain its pride of place as a leader among the comity of airlines in Nigeria.
He reiterated the fact that the intervention at Arik Airlines on February 9, clearly underscores government’s decision to instill sanity in the nation’s aviation sector, adding that the move also prevented a major disaster that would have befallen the airline.
He maintained that the recent intervention was in the best interest of all stakeholders, the general public, workers, creditors and other aviation interest groups in the country.
Having settled the insurance cover for the aircraft, which would have expired on February 12 and met with different trade creditors as well as aggrieved staff, Capt. Ilegbodu called for public understanding as he begins the tough job of ensuring that Arik is returned to full operational capacity within the shortest possible timeframe.
Recalled that the Federal Government through AMCON took over the management of Arik Airlines because the airline was seriously bedeviled by heavy financial debt burden that threatened to permanently ground the airline.
Experts in the industry had attributed Arik’s challenges 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.