FOLLOWING the incident involving Arik Air and passengers over baggage issues, the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has summoned the airline’s chief executive officer, Mr. Michael Arumemi-Ikhide, the chief operating officer, Mr. Connor Prendergast as well as the managing director, Mr. Chris Ndulue, to appear before it December on 19, 2016.This is just as Arik Air has said that its aircraft despite speculations are well-maintained to the highest standards and is audited severally by external auditors from the oil and gas sector who have attested to the airline’s provision of a safe and reliable aircraft operation.
The CPC in its summons to Arik Air stated that, “complaints/information from the public and passengers on board Arik Air flights from London to Lagos between December 2 and 5, 2016 alleging that the flights arrived at the Murtala Muhammed Airport…without the passengers’ luggage and without prior information.”
“The passengers, many of whom had connecting flights to Cameroon, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Ibadan could not continue their journeys as a result of the non-arrival of their luggage from London, while some passengers on the said flights could not have access to personal supplies, baby food or medication.
“Arik Air Ltd did not provide the passengers with temporary accommodation for transit; neither was there any customer service desk to assist the passengers in resolving their individual complaints,” said CPC.
It further stated that it issued the summons in line with sections 8, 15 and 18 of its (CPC’s) enabling Act.
It would be recalled that since December 3, the airline has had issues with its passengers who were flown from London but they could not get their luggage when they arrived in Lagos.
Following the faceoff between Arik and the passengers, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had directed the airline to pay a compensation of $150 to each passenger whose luggage was yet to arrive in Lagos from London Heathrow Airport since December 3.
The directive was given even after the airline had negotiated to pay each passenger $50 instead of $150 stipulated by the Montreal Convention of 1999
On the issues of maintenance, Arik Air said the rumours alleging that the airline’s aircraft are not well maintained are handiwork of mischief makers and one of the airline staff whose appointment was terminated on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 for misconduct and fraud.
According to the airline, has been leading the resurgence of Nigerian civil aviation by committing to being a quality airline adhering and operating to international safety and operational standards using modern aircraft and having high maintenance and safety standards.
The airline says in achieving the stringent IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) four consecutive times with the last two audits cleared successfully without any findings. This achievement has also earned Arik Air, EIOSA (Enhanced IATA Operational Safety Audit) making it the only airline in West and Central Africa region to have such certification.
The airline operates the youngest fleet in West Africa with an average hull age of 7.8 years and has an existing contract with world-renowned maintenance providers such as Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Cityline under full “turnkey” maintenance service contracts and other leading maintenance service providers such as SAMCO Engineering, South African Airways (SAA) Technical and Ethiopia Engineering.
Arik Air also maintains a well-stocked spares parts store with market value of over 250 Million USD.
The Maintenance/Engineering department of Arik Air has been audited severally by external auditors from the oil and gas sector who have attested to the airline’s provision of a safe and reliable aircraft operation, first class planning, efficient spares holding, whilst increasing aircraft utilization with no compromise on safety. This department is responsible for reliability monitoring, original equipment manufacturers service letters and American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) notifications, ensuring Arik Air’s fleet is maintained according to standards complimenting Airworthiness at all times.
Arik Air has in its 10 years of operation safely transported about 20 million passengers across its network of 19 domestic, 10 regional and three international destinations.