The Chief Executive Officer of Arik Air, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu on Wednesday said the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) gave two aircraft of the airline to a new airline, NG Eagle over failure of the original owners of Arik Air to pay up some of the debt they owe AMCON.
He described the action of AMCON which is also managing Arik as “recovery”.
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Daily Trust reports that there has been a raging controversy in the industry over the recent painting of Arik Air planes to that of NG Eagle, a new entity floated by AMCON which is on the verge of commencing operation. The two Boeing 737-700 aircraft with registration numbers 5 N-MJG and 5N-MJF respectively – from the fleet of Arik Air – arrived at the Murtala Muhammad Airport, Lagos early February from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Speaking with newsmen at the Arik headquarters yesterday, he said: “I can boldly say that those airplanes in our industry, we call it recovery. So they have been recovered. If a company is owing and it cannot pay, those airplanes were actually mortgaged to AMCON and it is very clear that at some point they’d take their assets and that is what was done.”
Ilegbodu stated further that Nigerian airlines are facing hard times following the sharp rise in foreign exchange which he stated had gone up by over 40 per cent in the last one year when COVID-19 hit the world.
“We have challenges of foreign exchange that is one big issue. The exchange rates have virtually gone up significantly by approximately 40% since COVID-19 struck.”