Dozens of Arik passengers stranded in Abuja

Dozens of Arik Airline passengers were
stranded on Friday following Thursday’s
suspension of the domestic operations of
the airline.
The Counters of Nigeria’s biggest airline was
deserted at the Nnamdi Azikiwe international
airport following the suspension of domestic
flights by the management of the airline.
Although some of the passengers expressed
disappointment over their inability to travel,
others complained about the absence of officials
of the airline to pay refunds for their unused
“I’m a little disappointed because I came to get
my 11 o’clock flight to Lagos to get my
international connection and I was told that
there is no flight. In terms of customer service, I
feel disappointed. Perhaps they should have
tried to reach out to the customers and provide
alternative for them,” one of the stranded
passenger said.
Some of the passengers expressed
disappointment with the sudden suspension of
the airline’s operations saying this has brought
untold hardship to them. Other passengers were
angry over the procedure to get a refund of their
“It’s a very terrible experience. We here since
yesterday and were supposed to go for a
friend’s father’s burial which is supposed to hold
today and until now we’ve not been able to get
a ticket yet we’ve paid our fare to and from Uyo.
They are not even telling us anything,” another
stranded passenger told Channels Television’s
The management of the airline has issued a
notice directing passengers on how to get refund
of their air fare.
“I got a text message yesterday saying that arik
flights have been grounded. If my information is
correct, they said it has to do with a debt. Maybe
they are owing the airport authority or
something. I’m not very sure, that’s why I am
here,” a passenger at the airport said.
The Managing Director and Executive Vice
Chairman of arik air, Chris Ndulue however
appealed to the government and aviation
authorities to intervene in the dispute between
the airline and the Federal Airports Authority of
Nigeria (FAAN).
“We very much sympathise with the passengers
and we very much regret all the inconveniences
they’ve passed through. The press conference
we had today is to call on the Federal
Government to intervene.
“We’ve also shown you the letters we’ve written
both to FAAN and to the presidency calling for
intervention; calling for someone to mediate
between FAAN, the Ministry (Ministry of
Aviation) and Arik,” Mr Ndulue said.
The domestic operations of arik airlines were
disrupted on Thursday by aviation unions over
alleged N17 billion debt owed FAAN and some
other agencies which prompted the
management of the airline to suspend all its
domestic operations.
The few airlines that were operating on the
domestic routes on Friday claimed that they
were fully booked as some passengers
struggled to get tickets.
Only three airlines — IRS, Aero and Overland –
were operating as at the time of publishing this
Senator Hope gives hope
Chairman Senate Committee on Aviation
Senator Hope Uzodinma has assured that the
crises rocking the airline would be resolved by
Briefing journalists in Abuja, Senator Uzodinma
said the presidency has intervened in the crises
to this end the secretary to the government of
the federation has summoned officials of Arik
Airlines, the Ministry of Aviation and FAAN for a
meeting on Saturday.
The crisis involving Arik Airlines is coming on
the heels of a recommendation by the senate
that Arik Airlines be made the national flag
carrier of the country.
Senator Uzodinma blamed the problem in the
aviation industry on the lack of proper

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