Arik Air operations safe – Arik Air CEO says

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Our attention has been drawn to stories published on the social media claiming that Arik Air operations are unsafe following an incident last week.

In a statement endorsed and sent by Captain Roy Ilegbodu Chief Executive Officer saying The incident referred to by the author of the article occurred in Abuja on the 8th of March 2021. For the records, the actions taken by the crew of the flight were strictly precautionary as the Pilot-in-Command of the aircraft took the necessary safety measures by returning the aircraft to land as they have been well trained to do in line with standard practice, after observing a cautionary indication light in the cockpit. Our aircraft are modern, next generation aircraft equipped with redundancies and annunciators that enhance safe operations in all stages of flight.

 

Arik Air CEO further noted that Arik Air in line with standard practice and being a responsible corporate organization notified the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), who subsequently checked, certified and returned to service the aircraft after all mandatory reports and processes had been fulfilled in accordance with global safety standards.

 

According to the Ilegbodu, It is unfortunate that one R. Isenalumhe, a trained lawyer who raised the alarm displayed an unprofessional approach to this issue as he is not an expert to declare an aircraft unsafe. We had expected him to go the extra mile to investigate and ask probing questions from professionals in the industry or refer the incident to the appropriate regulatory body, the NCAA, if he felt so concerned about air safety. We wonder what his motive may be and Arik reserves the right to take action on this libelous and unprofessional conduct.

 

He said Arik Air as an organization goes over and above safety standards in all facets of our operations. This is clearly evident in our over 14 years of operating as an airline. Safety is our cardinal policy and we will never operate an aircraft that is unsafe. We seize this opportunity to assure our esteemed customers of our unflinching commitment to safety which can never be compromised.

 

“Arik has not made any repayments to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) on its pre-receivership debt as claimed by Mr. Isenalumhe. Neither has AMCON put any undue pressure on Arik for repayments at the detriment of operation. Instead, AMCON had provided funds and all forms of support to assist the airline in its operations.

When the matter was presented on journalists’ platform there were various reactions as stated below: one said Personally, I won’t fly Arik for now.

 

Another said Well…we should just try not to demarket them sha.

 

The third person sand they are facing their own problem and this is because of mismanagement issues. The hope is that other airlines should learn from this.

 

While the fourth person said Hmmm, life and business has no comperism.

 

Person opinioned saying to be honest sha, the newer airlines are better.

 

One noted that but you know what happens when a business is 10 years old. Statistics has shown that many businesses die between 5-10 years.

 

While another said And Nigeria has a way of not managing things well due to being ambitious.

 

Follow by another that the airline with the best strategy is Ibom and Overland known for flying specific routes. Also Caverton is tailored to specific services. Most Airlines should avoid trying to expand but rather focus on certain regions. Something United Airlines is doing with it’s new 50 seater planes

Another opinion further said the airlines need to get the new 50 seater planes and limit their routes for efficiency.

 

Someone said this is the fear for Air Peace which is trying to be a local and international airline at the same time. It can’t work.

 

One strong opinion saying I returned from Abuja in one of my recent trips using Arik.

The cooling system failed to work. While taxiing for takeoff, I noticed I was sweating. Airborne, it was worse. Passengers started fanning themselves. I just prayed silently that it shouldn’t go beyond the heat. A passenger in front was said to have almost lost consciousness as other passengers used face shield as fan for her.

Thank God we landed safely. We now found our voices to challenge a system of flying inside intense heat.

The captain, an expatriate, apologised and after a rain of anger we disembarked.

I almost did a Facebook post on the issue but had to forgo it for other reasons.

Arik is truly challenged. This is my first hand experience. For now, I won’t fly with them. This is my choice, not about ‘demarketing’ . N22m Insurance claim to my family won’t compensate for the illimitable exploits available for me to explore and conquer

 

Another person said It’s a matter of choice Sir. What I always do is research and checks the airline that has the least trouble. The airlines with the least troubles are United and Ibom

The stats are there.

 

One cited Ibom is on time and doesn’t delay

 

Another opposed said All the other airlines delay

 

Someone interceded said Air Peace is good when you take that 6:45am flight

 

The 9am is always delayed, he added

 

Another person reecho that Arik…I don’t even try it. Plus they may strike this month

 

Another affirmed that I returned this evening with Ibom. It’s been blissful all the way

 

Someone generalized said We really don’t have a good aviation system in Nigeria. The best way is for travellers to patronise other better performing airlines so the old ones can learn

 

Cited saying Ibom is unrivalled. As long as politics doesn’t enter

“Anytime I fly Ibom, I feel like cursing Ibori and Uduaghan

 

Another person noted that Comparatively, the aviation industry in Nigeria is doing better than maritime in terms of indigenous participation.

There is no loudly pronounced cabotage regime in aviation but the about one and half decade cabotage regime in maritime has not achieved stronger indigenous participation.

Our shipping development and fleet expansion drive are progressing at snail speed

 

Someone cited said Airlines keep cancelling flights and no passenger is suing

 

“Passengers still keep flying these dead ones when they can switch their service providers

 

“Presently, there are routes that are not being served. I was supposed to enter Markudi two weeks ago; to my surprise no airline was going there.

 

“The best option was flying to Enugu and driving by road to Markudi (I remembered herdsmen) , I quit

 

“I guess itz bcos the airline has falling into government management under AMCON. it was doing better under its first owners.

 

Someone pointed out saying Regulators like NCAA and FAAN and the airlines keep playing a messy game of debts and in-house fights. There is no end to the drama

 

Another person said Road regulation is even better

 

One concluded saying In road, police will arrest you for no particulars. They will tow your vehicle for indiscriminate parking. Instant judgement.

 


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