AMCON, Arik and Aero: The Ugly Mixture 'A Cube'
Almost two weeks ago, AMCON announced it's takeover of Nigeria's largest airline Arik Air. And of course with the huge lapses in service delivery and huge debts owed by the said airline, the takeover came as no surprise for the general public. In a statement, the deputy managing director Arik Air Capt. Ado Sanusi vowed that the airline would challenge the takeover and make sure Arik looses free AMCON's tight grip.
Few days later we hear AMCON who also is in charge of Aero Contractors appoints Arik's deputy managing director Capt. Ado Sanusi as the new managing director Aero Contractors after its former managing director gets an appointment with the government. Here's the twist to the whole story couple of weeks before the Arik takeover, The media had it that the federal government had plans underway to merge the two flag carriers Aero Contractors and Arik Air as the long awaited National Carrier, with this, one might say some tilapia fish isn't grilled somewhere on the ramp. Not forgetting this is also coming weeks after Arik gets certified by the European Union to fly into major European destinations.
Well on the other hand it is most absurdly to think that the Federal government of Nigeria in disguise AMCON is actually running 2 privately owned flag carriers successfully and yet in the past couldn't run just one national carrier.
Surely I'd say merging these two flag carriers for a national carrier is a super crazy bad idea and would only produce as usual a quack National carrier just as past Attempts have proved hence the call for a national carrier built on fresh, clean and healthy foundation. Imagine a national carrier that died of debts being rejuvenated from 2 indebted flag carriers, Wow! What an Idea.
Also an Arik-Aero National carrier under AMCON indicates a whole chunk of 60-80% ownership by govt of the said national carrier as opposed to the proposed Private public partnership agreement of less than 10% govt ownership,
Lastly, you can't steal my airline for yourself and not expect sabotage or some fight to get it back where Newton's third law comes into play it's either an equal or worse still an opposite reaction and having such opposition in a business that involves lives I think the Government should rethink the idea if it actually on the tables already, many news agencies have said the takeover is for Arik's good, to think Aero Contractors is happy with AMCON's management thus making 2 unhappy flag carriers, Medview Airlines, Air Peace airlines, Dana Air, Azman and First Nation would be so glad at this development as they prepare themselves some five star dinner off the confusion little wonder fares have gone up with little Dana Air servicing the Lagos Abuja route at N55,000 for Economy class making it the most expensive carrier as at February 15, 16 2017.
On a final note I'd say if this idea is for real and actually a plot and the long plannings and preparation for a national carrier then Nigerians can firmly suggest the government has really been off duty and doesn't have the aviation industry in its blue prints.
Jesse-Alex Oparachi Omenazu is a Flight Operations Officer, an Aviation Writer and a Pilot Trainee. He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport UK, He writes from Abuja, Nigeria. He can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org