Arik Air denies it will retrench 1,500 staff
Arik Air, which is currently under the management of the state-owned Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), may be about to lay off 1,500 staff, reports ch-aviation.
However, Arik Air media consultant, Simon Tumba, has denied claims that the airline is to reduce its staff numbers.
With Arik Air scaling back its international operations recently, its expatriate pilots and staff are expected to be the first to be laid off during the current quarter. Longhaul routes from Lagos to London Heathrow, New York JFK and Johannesburg O.R. Tambo were canceled last month. With just over half its fleet of twenty-nine aircraft currently in service - five B737-700s, one B737-800, one CRJ-1000, four CRJ-900s, and four Dash 8-400s - Arik Air has reoriented its operations to focus on the domestic Nigerian as well as regional West African markets.
The source is quoted as saying that as Arik Air generates just NGN1.5 billion (USD4.7 million) in monthly revenue, cutting overheads is its only option to stay viable.
However, This Day reports Tumba as saying that the new management team appointed by AMCON plans to place five more aircraft into service with no staff losses.
In the meantime, Arik's AMCON-appointed board has appointed KPMG to conduct a forensic and diagnostic audit of the airline's finances to ascertain its true status.
“We have hired KPMG to look into the financial position of Arik with a tooth comb and advise us with verifiable facts on what went wrong with the airline. We need to do that because the outcome will help us plug the loopholes and stabilise the airline,” a statement said.