Business

‘We’ve been operating daily’ — Aero Contractors denies planning to shut down operations

Author:
Wasilat Azeez

Aero Contractors, Nigeria’s oldest airline, says it is not planning to shut down operations, clarifying a report on the state of the airline.

There were reports that the airline was cash-strapped and might soon go out of business.

In a statement issued on Friday, the airline’s management claimed that the report was speculative and preposterous.

The management said its discussion with the newspaper focused on the challenges facing all airlines in the industry, which is common and has been addressed on numerous occasions by the Association of Nigerian Airlines (AON).

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It listed the issues to include high cost of aviation fuel, high foreign exchange rate, high maintenance cost, inflation and low purchasing power of the travelling public following the increase of fares.

“Like many airlines in Nigeria, Aero Contractors have been operating daily and facing the challenges squarely,” the statement reads in part.

“We categorically deny any plan to close operations as the airline is proactively taking necessary measures and strategy to continue operation and ensure a great travel experience to our highly esteemed customers.

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“Aero Contractors has one of the best Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MROs) in West and Central Africa and is Nigeria’s oldest aviation company with capacity to offer both scheduled airline services and maintenance for the third party, licensed in over three countries.”

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.

In January, AMCON appointed the former director of flight operations of Arik Air, Captain Abdullahi Mahmood, as the chief executive officer of Aero Contractors.

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