Passengers flying to Johannesburg and London can no longer use Arik Air, as the airline announced suspension of flight operations to those routes on Tuesday.
The new management of the airline said it decided to suspend operations in the two cities to be able to “carry out thorough assessment of situation” in the company.
The Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) took over Arik “in order to restore sanity to the aviation industry”.
Shortly after taking over the company, AMCON said it discovered that Arik was indebted to the tune of N300 billion.
In a statement issued late Tuesday, the airline said arrangements were in place to reposition Nigeria’s largest carrier.
It also said there were plans to refund all the passengers affected by the decision to suspend operations in those routes.
“This is to bring to the notice of our travelling public our intention to suspend our international flight operations to enable us find permanent solution facing our passengers as it will enable us to carry out a thorough assessment of the situation,” it said.
“The strategic business decision is meant to realign our operations and refocus on satisfying our domestic and West Africa and other international passengers. It will also present Arik with excellent opportunity to engage and discuss with creditors who have become restive since the intervention and have also understandably exhausted their patience due to non-payment of accumulated debt and non-performance on services and contracts.
“Consequent upon this, arrangements are being made to refund all international passengers of the airline that are affected by this decision.
“To our international creditors, Arik is most grateful for your patience and understanding. We reassure them that all pending issues with the airline will be duly addressed as a matter of priority as we plan to engage them in this regard.
“The international route is very critical for the strategic turn around, growth strategy and stability of the airline. Therefore we intend to revisit the routes immediately we address all the problems inherited, which is affecting and creating more dissatisfied passenger base. We appeal to all passengers to kindly bear with us as the decision is to ensure that the airline adheres strictly to international aviation best practices.”