The operation of Arik Air, Nigeria’s biggest private airline, was on Tuesday disrupted due to aircraft insurance renewal, leaving its passengers stranded across airports in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that all the airlines’ scheduled flights were cancelled, prompting its customers to seek alternative flights.
The Communications Manager of the airline, Mr Ola Adebanji, said that the disruption was temporary, pending approval of aircraft documentation related to insurance renewal.
Adebanji noted that Arik airline was working round the clock to resolve the necessary documentation.
According to him, all flights scheduled for Sept. 13 have been cancelled.
He added that the airline would get in touch with passengers to provide an update on rescheduling of their flights.
“This situation is likely to continue for the next few days until such time that the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) approves a waiver on a priority basis for the new insurance company to renew the policy.
“All customers are advised to contact Arik Air’s Call Centre (01-2799999), Airport or City ticket offices or visit the airline’s Website (www.arikair.com) for further updates.
“Where flights have been cancelled, the airline will notify passengers through text messages and in such cases passengers will be accommodated on first available alternative flight as soon as normal flight operations resume.’’
Adebanji gave an assurance to members of the public that the airline was fully committed to returning to its normal operations and apologised for the inconvenience caused its passengers.
Passengers are also advised to check with the airline regarding the status of their flights before proceeding to the airport, a statement by the airline added.
“Arik Air’s Group CEO, Dr. Michael Arumemi-Ikhide, wishes to advise and assure the public, its customers, stakeholders and partners that we are fully committed to returning to our normal operations and minimize any unfortunate inconvenience to our passengers.
“The Group CEO has apologised and appealed (on behalf of the airline) for the understanding of passengers while it works diligently to resume normal operations at the earliest.”
Arik Airline is the third airline to suspend operations. Debt plagued Aero Contractors announced suspension of services first, followed by First Nation Airline. The latter however promised to resume operations on Thursday, 15 September.