The transfer of some assets of Arik Air to the proposed NG Eagle airline is generating ripples in the aviation industry as the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) has kicked against it.
Daily Trust reports that two Arik Air planes were recently repainted to NG Eagle floated by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) – a federal government’s debt recovery agency managing Arik Air and Aero Contractors.
AMCON had floated a new airline named ‘Nigeria Eagle’ which was incorporated as NG Eagle Limited RC: 1600277 on July 11, 2019. Its shares are owned majorly by AMCON and a unit of that by businessman Omokhide Kamilu Alaba.
However, NUATE has raised eyebrows at a special congress held at Arik headquarters, demanding explanation on the movement of assets of Arik to the new entity.
While the union welcomed the new carrier, which would boost job creation, it however queried the conversion of Arik aircraft.
President of NUATE, Comrade Ben Nnabue, said the issue of the workers must be addressed before they would be transferred to a new entity.
“We have been discussing with Arik over the years. Let’s understand what you want to do with our members and they kept on telling us ‘there is nothing like that’.
“Even when our members have seen them changing the paint on the aircraft in the tarmacs, they are still saying there is nothing like that. Something is definitely wrong; we will fight this battle to finish.”
The General Secretary of NUATE, Comrade Ocheme Aba, said the proposed airline may “run into a heavy storm being created by a thoroughly fouled industrial atmosphere at Arik Air.”
He said, “Under this atmosphere, it is practically impossible to be hopeful of any good thing. Hence our misgivings concerning the NG Eagle.”
The spokesman of AMCON, Mr Jude Nwazor was earlier contacted about our correspondent on this but could not comment.
However, Arik Air CEO, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, last week justified AMCON’s decision which he described as a recovery means since the original owner of Arik couldn’t pay the debt.