Nigeria: Arik Clarifies Air Return Incident

Arik Air on Sunday debunked claims in a trending message alleging that its operations were not safe over an incident last week where one of its aircraft had an air return in Abuja.

The airline explained that the decision taken by the crew in the March 8, 2021 incident was strictly precautionary and in line with the standard operating procedure.

Chief Executive of Arik Air, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, in a statement in response to the concern raised by a Benin-based lawyer identified as R.O lsenalumhe Esq, said the air return was informed by the “cautionary indication light” observed by the Pilot-in-Command in the cockpit.

“Our aircraft are modern, next generation aircraft equipped with redundancies and annunciators that enhance safe operations in all stages of flight,” he said.

The Arik boss also said contrary to the claim of the lawyer that the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) which is managing the airline was concerned about recovering its money, Arik has not made any repayment to the agency.

It would be recalled that Arik Air was taken over by AMCON in 2017 over huge indebtedness estimated to about N387bn including debts being owed local and foreign creditors.

The CEO however said, “Arik has not made any repayments to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) on its pre-receivership debt as claimed by Mr. Isenalumhe. Neither has AMCON put any undue pressure on Arik for repayments at the detriment of operation. Instead, AMCON had provided funds and all forms of support to assist the airline in its operations.”

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