•Furloughs 50% workforce
The management of Arik Air (In Receivership) has declared 300 members of staff redundant due to its current level of operations. The company hinged this on the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the constrained ability of the airline to complete heavy maintenance activities and return its planes to operations, stunted revenues against increasing operational costs.
Following this, the management announced yesterday the immediate resumption of normal flight operations, following the resolution of the impasse with the National Association of Air Transport Employees (NUATE). This emerged more than 24 hours of almost total shut down of its operations, following a face-off between the airline and aviation workers’ unions over labour related matters.
The airline, in a statement disclosing why it sacked the workers, said the leadership of the impacted unions had been contacted to negotiate a redundancy package for the affected staff. The statement reads: “It is important to note that over 50 per cent of Arik Air’s workforce of over 1,600 staff has been on furlough in the past six months on a base allowance.” “Decisions to let go off staff is naturally a difficult decision.
Arik Air wishes the impacted staff well in their future endeavours. Meanwhile, Spokesman for the airline, Adebanji Ola in a statement said, “All our afternoon and evening flights for Friday, December 4, 2020, will be operating. Subsequent flights will also operate as scheduled.
“Once again, we apologize to all our valued customers for the disruption to their travel plans on Thursday and Friday and assure them that the incessant union unrest has finally been put behind us.” “Passengers with tickets who could not fly on the days of the disruption can modify such tickets at no extra cost to travel at any time.
Our contact centre will be available for enquiries on telephone line 01 2799999 or email, callcentre@ arikair.com”. He thanked the airline’s esteemed customers for their understanding, confidence and support during the period. Recall that aviation unions had on Thursday picketed the airline, paralysing its operations across the country which continued till yesterday, leaving scores of passengers stranded at several airports across the nation. The action of the unions was as a result of allegations of non-payment of staff salaries since April.