Arik Air Plane Seized Over Debt


The financial crisis convulsing Arik Air, Nigeria’s biggest airline, is worsening by the day with the seizure of another of its plane in Kano, North West Nigeria, over $1 million (N155 million) judgment debt.

Federal aviation authorities have seized a Bombardier CRJ-900 airplane operated by Arik Air filled with passengers at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano, to fulfill a judgment in a civil lawsuit, sources said.

Company spokesman Banji Ola told P.M.NEWS early today that he could not comment on the seizure as it was a legal issue.

The latest plane seizure on Tuesday night comes only weeks after a plane belonging to Arik Air was seized in Dakar, Senegal on 13 July over N1 billion navigational debts owed to Senegalese authorities by the airline.

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It also comes a month after the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Ada Oduah, gave Arik Air thirty days ultimatum to pay off over N2 billion debts to the National Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, or be grounded. The deadline has expired.

The airline belonging to Sir Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide has been experiencing long flight delays in recent times on most of its 120 flights within and outside Nigeria. It is the only Nigerian airline with direct flights to the United States.

—Simon Ateba

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