Aero Contractors, Nigeria’s oldest airline, says it has no plan to liquidate.
The airline said this in a statement on Monday.
Two labour unions in the aviation sector had earlier accused the airline’s management of making moves to shut down the company.
The unions are the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN).
They also accused the airline of planning to cut down its staff strength by 40 percent at a news conference on Monday.
But in the statement, the airline’s management claimed that the allegations were “wild and unfounded”.
The management accused the unions of keeping quiet when things were rosy, adding that when challenges occur, they run around with allegations and threats.
It urged the staff and unions to desist from spreading allegations and support the company to overcome its challenges.
“It is in this regard that we are at a loss why the staff, knowing the challenges airlines are facing in the current operating environment are always in a haste to compromise confidential information to the public and make it an issue of discussion,” the statement reads in part.
“All the allegations about the managing director of House of 5A’s and Charles Arumemi Johnson are unfounded.
“Charles, is a very competent staff of Arik Air owned by AMCON, which equally owns Aero Contractors; therefore, there is no conflict of interest.
“He is instrumental to the recently launched Aero portal which has given the site a facelift and made it more user-friendly compared to the previous website.
“On the House of 5A’s, every partnership was done with the aim of improving the revenues of the airline, particularly in relation to our unserviceable equipment and ensuring standard customer service. The question is what was our revenue before, during, and after the exit of House of 5As? They should please respond.
“We are conscious of the challenges we are facing and have been prudent with our expenses, and doing our best to take care of staff welfare.
“The current management decided to create the four strategic business units (SBUs): maintenance repair overhaul (MRO), aviation training organisation (ATO), airline operation and rotary wing, to enhance efficiency and profitability.
“There’s no Nigerian carrier without debt overhang caused by the operating environment. And all major airlines in the world have had similar challenges, but took strategic measures to turn around the airlines.
“It is unfortunate that the airline industry operates on thin margins and airlines are always making efforts to be leaner and smarter to stay afloat.”
The statement added that management decisions are usually done with the engagement of the unions.
“It is at the instance of the unions that the chief executive officer called for a town hall meeting last week. We believe that as the revenues begin to improve over the next few months, following strategic engagements with potential partners, the airline’s fortune will improve,” the statement adds.
“We recognize the huge and massive potentials of Aero Contractors and are taking strategic steps to exploit them for the benefits of all stakeholders in these challenging times.”
Last week, the airline denied planning to shut down operations.
The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) took over the management of Aero Contractors in February 2016 as the aviation company could not survive under the weight of its debt.