Job losses loom at Arik Air

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Following the takeover of Arik Air by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria and a reduction in its flight operations due to fleet reduction, some workers of the carrier may soon lose their jobs, sources have said.

A source within the airline, said there were rumours that the company’s over 2,000 workforce may be reviewed downwards as a result of dwindling revenue and that some of the expatriate and indigenous pilots may have to go.

“The airline got some money for operations recently but what we heard is that there may be retrenchment if the aircraft taken for repairs and others that are not airworthy are not returned to the fleet in the next one month,” one of the sources said.

He also said that there were plans to fish out ghost workers within the organisation and cut bogus salaries of top officials.

According to one of the sources, some of Arik’s major challenges is the reduction of its frequencies and destinations, and lack of confidence from passengers.

The media consultant to Arik Air, Simon Tumba, however, said the airline did not plan to dismiss its workers, but was rather working to service five more aircraft and put them back in the air.

“We have hired KPMG to audit the airline and prepare a report, and the number of staff the airline has will be included in the report. So, the airline is not downsizing; there is going to be a complete audit and until that is completed, we cannot talk about sacking,” he said.

A source, however, stated that with a reduction of flights from 120 to about 18 daily, a workforce of about 2,000 people and about N1bn monthly wage bill and total revenue of N1.5bn, the airline had been struggling to meet operating costs and would need about $1.5m to service five of its aircraft.

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