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Arik Air, Aero Contractors, Dana Air… more airlines pull out of strike

Author:
Victor Ejechi

Three more airlines have joined Ibom Air on the list of airlines that have pulled out of the planned shutdown of flight services  as announced by the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON).

On Friday, the AON had announced its decision to suspend flight operations from Monday.

Ibom Airlines Limited (Ibom Air), on Saturday, became the first airline to counter the AON’s proposed strike, adding that stopping operations will “make a bad situation worse”.

In a joint statement issued on Sunday, the managements of Arik Air Limited and Aero Contractors said they would continue operations, but added that they support the efforts by the AON to address the fuel price hike.

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“Arik Air Limited (In Receivership) and Aero Contractors (In Receivership) wish to bring to the notice of the traveling public that both airlines will be operating all their scheduled flights on Monday, May 9, 2022,” the statement reads.

“Both managements fully identify with and endorse the efforts of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) to bring about a conducive operating environment for Nigerian carriers as the current price of JET A1 is unsustainable and could result in the untimely demise of most airlines.

“However, we have assurances that the government is looking at the issues raised by the AON and will come up with a decision that will be in the best interest of the industry and the traveling public.

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“Passengers who are booked to travel on both Arik Air Aero Contractors tomorrow and beyond should proceed to their airports of departure to board.”

In a similar move, Dana Air also said it agrees with the AON on the effects of the fuel price hike, but added that the airline would not be joining the strike.

“Following the recent press statement issued by the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), it has become necessary for us to take a stand in the overall interest of our guests, corporate partners, staff and the industry at large,” the statement reads.

“While Dana Air agrees with the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) on all the challenges facing domestic airlines in Nigeria and have on many occasions actively participated in the collective and ongoing engagement of relevant authorities on the urgent need to tackle the many issues domestic airlines have been grappling with, which includes the skyrocketing cost of Jet A1, we have taken a decision not to join the suspension of flights in May 9, 2022.

“We acknowledge that the present cost of Jet A1 is unsustainable and should not be passed to the flying public. We, therefore, call on the government to act urgently to resolve these unending operational challenges, while Dana Air will continue to support every effort by the AON to achieve a quick and peaceful resolution in the interest of our dear country Nigeria.”

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