Air passengers can now heave a sigh of relief as the two biggest domestic airlines in Nigeria, Aero Contractor and Arik Air resume scheduled flight operations today.
This will come as a relief to Nigerian travelers who have had their options limited since the aviation industry went into a tailspin following financial and fuel crises.
Aero Contractors resumed operations after a near four-month self-imposed suspension, which was embarked upon as a strategic business realignment to reposition the airline and return it to the part of profitability.
Aero is re-launching schedule services to Lagos, Abuja, Warri and Port Harcourt, using its Boeing 737-400/500 and the Dash 8-Q400, with the expectation that as more aircraft return to service, more routes will be reopened.
Confirming the resumption of operations, Fola Akinkuotu, CEO, said in a statement yesterday that, “We are delighted to inform our esteemed customers that our schedule operation is back. Full flights will commence on Thursday December 22, 2016 with consistent passenger demand despite the suspension of schedule services. This patronage reinforces the strength of our brand and the quality of our service.
“We are aware of the impact the four month suspension had on our staff and our highly esteemed customers. Hence our move to return to operations is to continue to offer the most reliable, safe and secure operations, which the airline is renowned for.”
Also, calm has been restored between the Aviation Unions and Arik Air by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) who brokered a truce between both parties yesterday. As a result, the airline has commenced full-scale operations to all their domestic and international destinations.
The Regulatory Authority had to intervene to avert the impending chaos, the strike if allowed to linger would have brought to the huge volume of passengers who are travelling for the yuletide and end of the year celebrations.
The airline and the unions were summoned to the Aviation House, Conference Room of the NCAA where very fruitful deliberations were held with the NCAA as the moderator
There were various resolutions reached contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting.
Arik Air and representatives of all the unions including NCAA signed the communiqué with the understanding that all agreed issues would be carried out.