By Ismail Auwal

About 300 members of staff of Arik Air have been declared redundant to its current level of operations by the ailing airline company.

This is coming on the heels of disruption of operations of the airline, yesterday, by members of National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) where hundreds of passengers were left stranded at airports in country.

NUATE has, at various times, complained about the poor conditions of service of Arik Air staff and had cause to disrupt the operations of the airline company at least three times in the last five months.

According to the airline company, today’s action by the company arose from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the constrained ability to complete heavy maintenance activities and of its aircraft to operations, stunted revenues against increasing operational costs.

In a statement made available by Adebanji Ola, Manager, PR & Communications says, “Management of Arik Air (In Receivership) has declared 300 staff members redundant to its current level of operations.

“The leadership of the impacted unions have been contacted to negotiate a redundancy package for the affected staff.

“It is important to note that over 50% of Arik Air’s workforce of over 1,600 staff have been on furlough in the past six months on a base allowance.

“Decisions to let go off staff is naturally a difficult decision. Arik Air wishes the impacted staff well in their future endeavours.”

Arik Air went into receivership on February 9th, 2017 after Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) said the airline company “has been in a precarious situation largely attributable to its heavy financial debt burden, bad corporate governance … that required immediate intervention.”

The company was unable to pay its workers and creditors which necessitated its takeover by AMCON.

A 2012 Central Bank of Nigeria document showed Arik owed 85 billion naira ($279 million) to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

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