Aero/Arik Survival: NUATE, ATSSSAN Call For FG, NASS, Labour Ministry’s Intervention

* Pix Source: www.africanaerospace.aero

 

 

The National Union of Air Transport Employees(NUATE) and the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria(ATSSSAN) have called on the Federal Government through the Aviation Minister, the National Assembly, Minister of Labour and employment to intervene in the situation in Aero Contractor and Arik Air to save airlines workers, their families and Nigeria’s aviation industry from imminent disaster

The call for intervention by the two unions is contained in a statement titled, “Who Wants Aero Gone and Why Kill Arik? signed by the General Secretary of NUATE, Comrade Ocheme Aba and the Deputy General Secretary of ATSSSAN, Comrade Frances Akinjole and made available to journalists shortly after a press briefing at the Murtala Muhammed Airport(MMA), Lagos.

This is just as they questioned the rationale behind seconding Mr. Charles Johnson-Arumemi from Arik Air to Aero as Commercial Manager.

The unions alleged that Mr. Johnson-Arumeme drew up the schedule that granted Aero’s juicy routes to House of 5A’s and that it was the same Johnson-Arumemi who  has been overseeing  the bastardisation of the Aero online sales portal as to deliberately render it thoroughly defective.

“We observe that the sales portal would show seats not available when only about 30 passengers would have booked by then. This is in addition to an exceedingly poor schedule with bad timings just to discourage prospective passengers.

“All these acts are clear cases of self-sabotage. This is as baffling as it is exasperating. Is Mr. Charles Johnson-Arumemi a face of the hidden forces working to kill Aero? Why is he working for Aero, but receiving salary from Arik? the unions queried.

The unions specifically call for a probe of the circumstances surrounding the rumoured selling of one or both of the airlines to the promoters of 5A’s for cheap after the airlines must have been grounded by an artificially created financial crumbling.

“We also call for strong and deeply reflective interface among the Ministry of Aviation, AMCON and the legacy shareholders of Aero Contractors and Arik Air for the purpose of knocking out a deal that could truly rejuvenate the airlines, one way or another and resolve the legacy owners’ imbroglio once and for all. We call for a complete stop of further attempts to truncate genuine revamping efforts at keeping these airlines on the part of recovery. Specifically, we call for a halt of further attempts through House of 5A’s to force any phony lease contracts down the throat of Aero Contractors and Arik Air,” the said.

Speaking further, the unions appealed to AMCON not to allow any form of weariness stand in the way of efforts to achieve the plan of turning around the fortunes of the two airlines, adding that the unions have an unshaking belief that the task can and must be done.

The task of turning around these airlines, they argued, requires that all hands must be on deck and working harmoniously and that the unions pledge their cooperation and collaboration to make it work.

The unions reiterated their call on AMCON to immediately replace the Receiver Manager of Aero Contractors, arguing that the assignment is obviously outside his competence, as clearly marked by his abdication of his role.

On Arik Air, a onetime largest airline in the country which is also under receivership, the unions stated that they would have been silent on the airline for now, but that the fact that the House of 5A’s lease arrangement that was chased out of Aero has found its way into Arik Air makes imperative for them to break their silence.

Disturbingly, the unions said that there is evidence of a case of collusion between the management of Aero and Arik Air, adding that from the unions understanding the new lease arrangement was to come into operation last Friday, but that it was shelved.

According to them, “Though we are yet to be furnished with Arik’s share of the spoils under this arranged contraption called a lease, we can say authoritatively that, like in Aero, the House of 5A’s aircraft have been gifted Arik’s juicy routes of Lagos/Abuja/Lagos, Abuja/Port Harcourt/Abuja, and Abuja/Kano/Abuja based on the released schedule.”

They warned very soon Arik will run into financial bad weather, which will make it unable to pay salaries.

The unions vow not to cohabit with this toxic agenda that is playing out in the airlines.

The unions contended that in view of the above, they shall immediately direct all Arik workers to withdraw all services from this aircraft if and when, it comes to their knowledge that indeed the same level of toxicity as in the case of Aero also applies in this case in Arik

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