Arik Airline gets AMCON’s N1.5bn lifeline[wysija_form id=”1″]The Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) has injected N1.5 billion in Airk Airline Ltd to safeguard its operations since its takeover.
Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, Arik Air Chief Executive Officer, said this at a news conference in Lagos while highlighting the company’s operations since its takeover by AMCON.
Ilegbodu said that the funds injected by AMCON helped in the stabilisation of the airline’s operations, prevention of its collapse and payment of staff salaries.
He said that the management met a lot of refund when it took over the company, noting that it paid between N60 million and N75 million to customers as a refund on a weekly basis.
He said that the company had remained in business due to AMCON‘s support, adding that the support helped in sustaining the airline operations in spite of huge debts incurred before the Federal Government takeover.
Ilegbodu said that there were no spare parts in the stores to support the airlines operations with huge bills left unpaid and people refusing to offer credits to the company due to breach of trust.
“When we started on Feb.9, we took our time to study what was on ground in Arik, It was quite interesting and disturbing for an airline with 30 airplanes on its books with only 10 functional,” he said.
He said that AMCON’s intervention helped the company to seek for spare parts, noting that it would be flying 14 airlines by the middle of this month.
The chief executive officer said that the company was engaging its creditors on the way forward, adding that the receiver manager was currently in London to discuss with foreign creditors.
He said that the company slowed down operations by scaling down on international flights, suspended some of its aircraft to have good control of operations because of huge damage discovered in Arik.
On the challenges affecting aviation industry, he said that the industry was capital intensive and should be for long-term purpose and not short-term.
He said that Nigeria had the potential to produce the highest airline in Africa based on its population but needed people with the passion, financial muscle and competency.
Ilegbodu listed the instability in the foreign exchange market as another factor affecting the industry, adding that strong business plan was imperative to avert incessant collapse of airlines.