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Now Reading: Nigerian pilots, engineers beg AMCON not to let Arik Air die as airline struggles to survive


Nigerian pilots, engineers beg AMCON not to let Arik Air die as airline struggles to survive

September 9, 20234 min read

  • NAAPE has made an appeal to AMCON to continue its intervention in the affairs of Arik Air
  • The association admitted that AMCON’s intervention in Arik Air seven years ago had saved the airline from collapse
  • It however appealed to AMCON to support Arik in getting more aircraft into its fleet, as well as more professionals

Nigerian aircraft pilots and engineers have appealed to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to persist in its intervention initiatives aimed at safeguarding the viability of Arik Air.

The professionals under the umbrella of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) made the appeal during a courtesy visit to AMCON’s office in Abuja, under the leadership of Engineer Mudi Muhammad.

Arik Air
NAAPE said that without AMCON’s intervention, Arik Air would have joined the list of airlines in Nigeria that have gone underground. Photo credit – Arik Air

Source: UGC

According to Independent, they conveyed their endorsement of AMCON’s initiatives and investments in Arik Air, stressing the importance of the corporation’s persistence in these endeavors.

This they said is particularly crucial given the smear campaign launched by the former owners of Arik Air Limited, especially following the change of government in the country, in an attempt to turn public opinion against AMCON.

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Arik Air controversies and struggle to remain afloat

In February 2017, the federal government assumed control of Arik Air through AMCON due to the airline’s substantial debt burden, exceeding N300 billion.

Consequently, the government promptly disbanded the airline’s management team and designated a receiver-manager.

By June 2023, media outlets had reported the detention of Omokide Kamilu, the receiver-manager for Arik Air, on suspicion of misappropriating and diverting approximately N120 billion.

However, the airline subsequently refuted these allegations against Kamilu, categorizing them as “completely untrue.”

NAAPE appeals to AMCON to continue to safeguard Arik Air

Mohammed said that NAAPE recognises AMCON’s contributions in the last seven years, without which, would have seen Arik Air joining the list of airlines in Nigeria that have gone underground.

He said:

We are here today as an association to demonstrate our support to AMCON because as insiders, we understand the big contribution AMCON made to ensure that Arik did not die.

As NAAPE, we know AMCON’s intervention in Arik about seven years ago was to protect the airline and save hundreds of us from losing our jobs.

He added that prior to AMCON’s intervention in Arik Air, there were significant delays in disbursing pensions, allowances, and staff salaries. The airline was teetering on the brink of complete collapse due to its substantial debt load.

He added:

We are here to plead that AMCON should support Arik to get more aircraft into its fleet, and as professionals, who are passionate with our job, we want you to watch Arik dominate the aviation industry once again.

The NAAPE Chairman also emphasized that without prompt additional investments by AMCON, Arik Air could potentially face a scenario where some of its highly skilled pilots and engineers may be enticed away by foreign airlines seeking to recruit them.

This situation, he contended, would undermine the very essence of the federal government’s intervention in Arik, ultimately tarnishing AMCON’s reputation following its well-intentioned intervention.


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Precious Etim

My name is Precious Etim. I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better.

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