INTERNATIONAL Air Transport Association (IATA) has insisted that embattled carrier, Arik Air is still its member despite current challenges and has stated that it is working with the receiver manager of the airline to stem the challenges the airline currently faces.This is just as the global airline body has stated that the airline’s suspension from the IATA financial systems namely the Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) and Cargo Account Settlement System (CASS) does not affect the airline’s membership of IATA.
IATA Area Manager, South West Africa, Dr. Samson Fatokun allayed the membership fears in response to certain questions concerning the airline and its fate in the world body.
He said,”IATA is currently working with the new management of Arik Air to resolve the airline’s suspension from the IATA Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) and Cargo Account Settlement System (CASS). “
“The airline’s suspension from the IATA financial systems does not affect its IATA membership or IOSA registered status. Arik Air remains a member of IATA and a fully IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) registered airline.”
Recall Arik Air has been in the news in the last few weeks with the airline’s takeover by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) after it was discovered that its indebtedness is staggering.
The troubled airline is said to owe AMCON N147 billion and that is owing other local banks at least N165 billion with foreign debts standing at $81 million.
AMCON after the takeover appointed a new management team led by Capt. Roy Ukpebo Ilegbodu, a veretan aviation expert under the receivership of Mr. Oluseye Opasanya, SAN to pilot the affairs of the airline to stability, a team IATA has said it would work with to assist in resolving the airline’s challenges
Arik , for over a year, has been riddled in all sorts of controversies and challenges attributable to its bad management, erratic operational challenges, inability to pay staff salaries and heavy debt burden among other issues, which led to the call for authorities in the country to intervene before Arik goes under like many before it.
The new management in a bid to stop the bleeding has suspended all its international operations and is looking at restructuring the airline back into profitability as part of AMCON’s plans to rescue, enhance and sustain the ailing airline’s operations to provide satisfactory service to air passengers.