AMCON scales down Arik Air’s operations
Feb 27, 2017: Following its takeover of Arik Air over two weeks ago, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has scaled down the flight operations of Nigeria’s premier carrier to less than 30 per cent of its capacity.
However, AMCON, in a statement, said public confidence in the airline was gradually returning and commercial banks more willing to engage with Arik Air.
The airline, which at peak periods operated 120 flights a day, now operates about 15 flights daily with very low load factors, as passengers continue to shun the airline since the intervention by AMCON.
According to media reports, of the 28 operating aircraft in the airline’s fleet, only eight are now in operation comprising the two Bombardier CRJ 900s, one Bombardier Q400, and five Boeing 737s.
The Q400 is in a dedicated service with Chevron, effectively leaving the airline with seven operating aircraft for commercial flights. This has forced Arik to cut back its domestic and regional operations, just as the airline suspended its international service immediately AMCON changed its management.
It was also gathered that international financiers and other creditors of the airline have concluded plans to sue the federal government after 30 days of AMCON’s intervention in the airline.
Also, since the takeover of the airline and the cancellation of most of its regional flights, Nigeria has lost its dominance on the West coast and other African routes to Asky, AWA and the Cote d’Ivorian national carrier.
Arik was the only Nigerian airline that operated to Dakar, Abidjan, Luanda and Libreville. Since the intervention by AMCON, it has stopped operating to most of these destinations.
The airline used to operate six flights to Accra from Abuja and Lagos, but the flights have been scaled down to two since AMCON stepped in.