31st August, 2010
Hundreds of air travellers were this morning stranded at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Ikeja Lagos, South West Nigeria, after the National Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) grounded the Arik Air over unpaid debt.
NAMA had given heavily indebted airlines untill yesterday to pay years of debt or be grounded. The agency approved flight plans filed by airlines and can deny same to some airlines.
The agencyâ€™s Head of Public Affairs, Mr. Supo Atobatele, told our correspondent that only ten agencyâ€™s airline that complied with the demands as at this morning were flying.
â€œTen airlines have complied and are flying, except Arik,â€ Atobatele said.
Some of the airlines that were flying included, Air Nigeria, Aero Contractors, Dana Air, Chanchangi Airlines, Overland Airline, Associated Airline.
Atobatele urged Arik to comply with the Federal Government order and be allowed to fly again.
â€œIt is not our duty to ground airline, but they are not flying, others have complied, why shouldnâ€™t they?â€ He asked.
Arik Air information officer, Mr. Banji Ola, could not be reached through his phone.