Officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Thursday morning disrupted Arik Air’s operations at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. They denied the airline’s staff access to their duty post making it impossible to process passengers for departures out of Abuja.
The latest action may not be unconnected with allegation of debt FAAN claimed Arik Air owed. The airline has described the debt figure by the agency as fictitious and malicious.
Arik Air insists that it does not owe FAAN any money since the agency’s charges are paid in advance (pay-as-you-go basis). This has been the practice for over two years when all the aviation agencies introduced pay-as-you-go for their services. The bogus debt claim by FAAN is therefore unacceptable to Arik Air.
The Honourable Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka had earlier stepped into the lingering debt issue between FAAN and Arik Air and had directed that a firm of auditors be engaged to reconcile the books. This process has not been concluded before the latest action by FAAN this Thursday morning.
Since about 10:50 am when the Honourable Minister of Aviation directed the FAAN Managing Director to allow Arik Air access into the terminal, the directive was yet to be complied with by FAAN
Arik Air sincerely apologise for the inconvenience the FAAN action may have caused its esteemed guests. The safety and comfort of passengers remain the bedrock of the airline’s operations. The management of Arik Air is taking steps to guide against this kind of action in the future.