Arik Air has expanded its fleet with two aeroplanes to boost its operations ahead of the festive season.
The two aircraft, a Q-400 and a Boeing 737-800, were received from C-Check.
“Over the last two years, the current management has been working hard to improve the number of serviceable aircraft in the airline’s fleet,” a statement received by TheCable read.
“The Arik fleet is nearly mid-life and such require a major overhaul of engines, landing gear etc.
“Unfortunately, Arik in addition to being overburdened by debts had no reserves. The company was simply in a fix. The significant work done to date has therefore been the result of prudent management of resources and the support of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
“The management’s effort is bearing fruits with two more aircraft expected to return from C-checks in the next few weeks – one at the end of the year, and another in January.”
According to the statement, the airline’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) is now positive, customers’ confidence has been restored on-time performance (OTP) is over 70% – from 30%; load factors on domestic routes over 80%, flight cancellations are down to less than 1% from over 40%, salaries are paid as at when due, pensions are being remitted, all current obligations are being met and the company is prepared for AMCON exit.
Commenting on the development, Roy Ilegbodu, Arik’s chief executive officer, said: “We are pleased to announce the return of some of our aeroplanes, following positive resolution of our outstanding debts with African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIM) and strong support from Lufthansa Technik AG”.
The company said its Boeing 737-800 had been in Malta with Lufthansa Technik AG since 2015 before the current management came on board, and described its return is a “testimony of the achievements of the current management due to the high cost of C check of as a result of an extended layover”.