The Nigerian government Thursday said it had halted the proposed retrenchment of 300 staff of Arik Air.
Musa Nuhu, the director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), stated in Abuja that there was an issue at Arik Air but the dismissal was never implemented. “There was a threat by one of the airlines (Arik Air) and some disengagement disagreements, but the NCAA intervened,” the NCAA boss said. “We spoke with both the management and labour unions and they have agreed to go back to the discussion table.
“The last report I received, they have made significant progress in closing that gap. We hope they conclude and nobody is sacked,” Nuhu added. Last Friday, Arik Air disclosed in a statement endorsed by Adebanji Ola, its public relations manager that 300 people in its workforce had become redundant by reason of the impact of coronavirus pandemic on its operations, and so was laying them off.
“It is important to note that over 50 percent of Arik Air’s workforce, of over 1,600 staff, have been on furlough in the past six months on a base allowance. “Decisions to let go of staff is naturally a difficult decision. Arik Air wishes the impacted staff well in their future endeavours,” the document said.
Meanwhile, the NCAA chief affirmed that doubling the price of domestic flights was inevitable, considering the harm the pandemic had done to aviation business in the country. “Ticket prices have gone up astronomically over the last week or so. That is one of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aviation, tourism and travel industry is one of the most devastated industries.
“Because we had a shutdown for several months, the airlines were not making money and there are fixed cost that they have to deal with. They have to maintain the aircraft and unfortunately most of these aircraft are maintained outside the country,” he said. Nuhu asserted that bailout for airlines was a policy issue, which the aviation ministry would oversee t the behest of the minister of aviation.
Source: Ripples Nigeria