Arik begins flying again Sunday


Arik Air

Simon Ateba/Aviation correspondent

Nigeria’s biggest airline, Arik Air, said on Saturday that it will resume fight operations on Sunday, three days after it was grounded by a union protest.

The Managing Director of Arik Air, Mr. Chris Ndulue, said at a press conference today in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, that the decision to resume flight operations came after a successful reconciliatory meeting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, between the airline and aviation agencies.

Ndulue that said the meeting was chaired by the Secretary to the Federal Government, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, and was attended by the Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah.

He said it was also attended by Chairmen, Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Aviation and other aviation chiefs, including the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren.

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Ndulue said that all the issues in dispute were resolved, but declined to give details.

He however maintained that Arik Air owed only N1.6 billion while the agencies had claimed that Nigeria’s biggest airline owed them at least N18 billion.

Ndulue did not also confirm allegations making the round that the Minister of Aviation had requested five percent equity from Arik Air and was witch-hunting the airline when the request was rejected.

He said since the issue is still a matter of conjecture, he would not comment on it.

The subdued Arik boss spoke with a sober tone unlike when he claimed on Thursday that the Ministry and FAAN were witch-hunting them.

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