Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria o Thursday took per the running ofNigeria’s biggest domestic carrier, Arik Air, over debt and other issues.
Prior to the airline’s takeover byAMCON, operatives of thebEconomic and Financial Crimes Commission had quizzed its Chairman, Johnson Arumemi, at Arik’s headquarters in Lagos.
AMCON spokesman, Jude Nwauzor, said in a statement that the step was intended to save the airline from going under.
“The development will afford Arik Airlines, which is the largest local carrier in the country, to go back to regular and undisrupted operations, avoid job losses, protect investors and stakeholder funds as well as ensure safety and stability in the already challenged aviation sector,” Nwauzor said.
AMCON would also inject funds into the airline to keep its afloat and help it to bounce back to a good standing.
The airline had been bogged down by huge debts, unpaid staff salaries, operational hitches, flight cancellations and baggage theft. Some of its staff had been brutalized at airports by angry passengers over flight cancellations. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority had some weeks ago ordered Arik o pay $150 to each passenger affected in a controversial baggage delay on a London – Lagos flight.
Arik also had issues with insurers as well as poor safety records.
The takeover of Arik may have saved the domestic aviation sector from a huge crisis as Arik controls over 55 per cent of the traffic.
Last year, AMCON took over another big carrier, Aero Contractors, over insolvency issues.