The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has refuted media reports that it is in talks with Ethiopian Airlines on the possible take-over of troubled Arik airlines.
In a statement Monday, Jude Nwauzor, AMCON’s spokesperson, said that contrary to media reports that the corporation was in discussions with Ethiopian Airlines for the carrier to render management services to Arik, that it was not aware of any current discussion or negotiation with the management of Ethiopian Airlines regarding Arik Air Limited (Arik).
According to a CNN reports Esayas WoldeMariam, Ethiopian airlines managing director of international services, was quoted as saying his airline is capable and desirous in handling the troubled carrier.
“We have outlined our terms and conditions to the Nigerian government and we are waiting to see if they agree,” he told CNN, adding: “We are capable and desirous of handling the airline.”
WoldeMariam did not specify details of the offer, but added that he expects to face competition for Arik from international airlines.
Godfrey Odudigbo, minister plenipotentiary at the Nigerian embassy in Addis Ababa, was equally reported to have said that negotiations over Arik could be concluded by the end of the year.
Arik recently required a government bailout after coming close to collapse and since then it has been operated the state-owned Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
The bailout was forced by a prolonged crisis that saw services canceled, staff unpaid, and mounting debt.
Arik was placed in receivership last February, following the airline’s inability to repay debts in excess of N300 billion to AMCON and other creditors in Nigeria and around the world.
It is on record that the Receivership Team has within the period stabilised the operations of the airline, marked by stability of schedules; improved On-Time-Performance (OTP) and revamped customer service among others. Today, the Airline has regained its dominance as the most reliable carrier in the country with growing passenger patronage and confidence.
AMCON says the general public and all stakeholders will be kept duly informed on issues relating to the airline’s divestment plan.