Friday, 4 September 2015

Arik Air to go public in May 2016 Read more at:

trong indications have emerged that Arik Air would become a public enterprise by May 2016, as it concludes preparations to open doors for partnership from investors. The Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Chief Arumemi Ikhide Johnson, confirmed this statement at a breakfast meeting organised by Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI) in Lagos, Wednesday. Arumemi said the airline has already raised 1 billion dollars and more people are still showing interest in an ongoing private offer. According to him, the airline will go public by May 2016.

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Funding, Ownership as bane of Nigeria ‘s aviation industry Read more at:

Regrettably, it has become a culture in the industry for Nigerian airlines to start businesses with billions and before the travelling public gets to enjoy their services, the airlines ran out of business. Reasons behind this anomaly vary, but this has continued to seriously shake the industry. Some of the airlines either folded up or suspend operations due to air mishaps; financial distress, or corporate policy mismanagement. Three airlines currently operate uninterrupted scheduled flights, while others engage in complementary flight operations. The three that are operating daily are Arik Air, Aero Contractors, and Med-View Airline. Overland Airways does complementary flights. Although many aviation analysts have tried to proffer solutions to the above problem, but the solutions seems not be enough to address the anomaly. The Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRI) again seeks to redress these shortcomings as it held another breakfast meeting with all aviation stakeholders in Lagos on Wednesday. OBSERVATIONS Elder Gbenga Olowo, President ASRI, lamented that the mortality rate of Nigeria carriers, which falls between 10-15 years is worrisome. “The Advancement of Aviation Sector in Nigeria has been retarded for the past 45 years (1970 to date), one wonders where the sector will be by 2050,” he said. “Just one Nigeria Airways, 45 years ago, was stronger, healthier and more efficient than 6-10 private schedule airlines economically lying in state today. Mortality rate of 10-15 years is just too high. Model, ownership, funding & sustainability remain a huge question. “Traffic and Demand for Air Travel has increased by more than 500%, in the face of acute infrastructural deficit. Government / Private ownership, policy summersault remain the bane. MMA, the number one Nigeria gateway, has only D&E fingers since 1978 (37 years) ago. Harka and Emirate Airlines recently collided on the Taxiway, in the face of other instances of near collisions and air misses in the sky. “Our airports have no car park, so to say. Approach to all the airports is like arriving into a local uncivilized market rather than a serene, clean, lush, good to behold environment as we see it globally. Passenger Processing is most cumbersome and detestable world over. Personnel lacked Training, Attitude is quite negative and latent with Corruption from desk to desk,” he said Also speaking, Chief Arumemi Ikhide Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Arik Air, denied the fact that Nigerian airlines are weak to meet up challenges with foreign carriers but argued that the carriers are rather faced with civil servant challenges. Sir Johnson said airlines are currently battling with the ministry, as their foreign counterparts are more favoured. “Majority of those appointed in the aviation ministry satisfy their personal interest against we local carriers and there is no sufficient ‘government will’ for the domestic carriers. We are not given same opportunities in area of interlining like the foreign carriers that operates our local routes and this pose serious danger to the airlines. Foreign carriers are more favoured,” he said. He identified Jet A1 (Aviation fuel) as another bone of contention to the carriers. According to him, “Fuel is easier, cheaper and better to acquire outside the country in areas like Ghana and Dubai than buying in Nigeria, cost effective. Sir Arumemi argued that with the hurdles in the industry the airline has continue to keep head above water, yet some set in the sector condemns the airline claiming it owes huge debts. He said: “Arik Air does not owe, but we’ll be glad to see documents that back the claimed debts.” Bismarck. J Rewane, CEO, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, affirmed that when revenue is 62 percent lower than expected, there is need to be extremely objective in managing the limited resources. He said, “Aviation sector presently contributes less than 1 % of Nigeria GDP (meager 0.4%) when a small economy such as Spain contributes up to 5%. This depicts a grossly underperforming sector. All Air Services Agreement has delivered negative balance of trade between Nigeria and its trade partners throwing National Income into deficit through huge capital flight. The challenge of unstoppable African single open sky policy continues to stare us on the face.” RECOMMENDATIONS Elder Olowo affirmed that Nigeria should adopt best model. “US alone controls upwards of 45% world air traffic and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the only agency of government for Aviation in the department of Transport (DOT),” he said. “Transport ministry should engage in the task of evolving complete primordial system for Nigeria where there is seamless backward and forward transportation integration between Air, Road,Rail, Sea, etc; This will evolve a strong and autonomous Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA); Eliminate duplication of powers and incessant political interference in internationally regulatory functions of the agency. Episode of the last administration where DG was changed daily like underwear remain very fresh; DG position should be globally advertised and best professional given the mandate; Reduction in the cost of governance because funds will be used for other more pressing social needs in the economy. “A more objective driven Civil Aviation Administration with policy on measurable deliverables for every sector on short to medium and long term plan is earnestly the necessary and sufficient condition for a healthy Nigeria Aviation Sector.” Although, Arumemi welcomes the national carrier idea, he said there is need for forensic audit to be carried out by the Federal Government before settling for the flag carrier model.

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Arik Air to resume flight services to Benin Airport in September 6, 2015

Arik Air, Nigeria has announced the resumption of flight services to Benin Airport effective Sunday, September 6, 2015 following the re-opening of the airport by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
The airline disclosed this in a release yesterday adding that it will operate one flight each from both Lagos and Abuja into Benin on Sunday and thereafter revert to its normal schedule as from Monday, September 7, 2015.

Benin Airport was temporarily closed by FAAN on June 20, 2015 to facilitate rehabilitation works on the airport’s runway. The closure was initially scheduled to last 20 days but was further extended by FAAN.