Arik Air drops London and Johannesburg routes
Having assumed control of the airline late last week, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) said Arik Air requires over NGN10 billion naira (USD31.7 million at the official bank rate) for it to resume full and uninterrupted operations, reports ch-aviation.
The state-owned firm's Head of the Corporate Communications, Jude Nwauzor, said in a statement that the “mess” met on ground was actually greater than anticipated.
“It appears that unlike previously recorded, Arik has debts in excess of NGN300 billion (USD953 billion at the official bank rate), especially with some banks, excluding fuel suppliers, lessors and maintenance companies," he said adding that all creditors' claims will be addressed in due course.
AMCON last week blamed Arik Air's persistent financial woes on its "bad corporate governance".
Since moving into position, it says insurance cover for Arik's aircraft, which were to have expired on Sunday, 12 February, has been paid with its aircraft gradually resuming flights. The airline's New York JFK service was suspended this past week.
The decision has since been taken to suspend the carrier's flights to London Heathrow and Johannesburg O.R. Tambo in favor of focusing on the West African market.
”The strategic business decision is meant to realign our operations and refocus on satisfying our domestic and West Africa and other international passengers," Nwauzor added. “It will also present Arik with excellent opportunity to engage and discuss with creditors who have become restive since the intervention and have also understandably exhausted their patience due to non-payment of accumulated debt and non-performance on services and contracts.”