THE challenges within Aero Contractors is still unresolved eight months after the airline management declared about 60 per cent of its workforce redundant, as Aero is yet to pay the reviewed severance packages to a majority of the affected workers.
Over 600 of the airline’s over 1000 workers were in March, deemed surplus to requirement by the management of Aero and have since then been left to fend for themselves without any fall back package from the airline.
This situation is made grim with further indications that the airline’s fleet has further depleted to two Dash 800 aircraft.
Nigerianflightdeck.com learnt that the management of the airline recently reabsorbed some of its technical staff, following the approval given to it recently by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to carry out C-Check on series of Boeing 737 aircraft however, those reabsorbed were less than 5 per cent of the sacked workers.
An affected worker who pled anonymity decried that contrary to the promise of the management to pay the affected staff their severance packages few months after the redundancy claim, most of them were yet to be paid their entitlements.
Another source said that a few of the affected workers were paid just two months salaries of the seven months owed them by the airline before the redundancy claim in March.
The source said: “Most of us that were declared redundant by the Aero management are yet to paid our severance packages months after. AMCON management is not willing to pump money into the airline and without the injection of funds by AMCON, the current management, can’t get resources to carry out most of the projects they already mapped out.
“Abroad, before you shut any organization, you must have funds to pay the workers their benefits. AMCON and the management took the right decision to allow the airline to continue in operation, but it’s unfortunate that they don’t want to pay us the severance packages as promised earlier.
“All the airline needs are just two additional airplanes, maybe two of its B737 that are going through checks abroad. Currently, Aero has only two Dash 800 aircraft in its fleet, a far cry from 18 at its peak.
Aero contractors had been under the receivership of AMCON since 2011, but its fortune has not improved ever since, rather, its fleet of aircraft had continued to deplete despite its diversifying into maintenance of Boeing classics.
Just August last year, the airline suspended operations for almost four months, only to resume skeletal operations in December 2016, but since then, the airline, which hitherto prided itself as a leading carrier in the country, had not made any impact in the local scene while it suspended all its regional operations.