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Passengers Stranded As Arik Air Grounds Operation Over Fuel, Insurance Debts

Hundreds of air passengers across the country are currently stranded as one of Nigeria’s largest airline, Arik Air has grounded its operations.

Apart from the early flights on Tuesday, several other flights expected to take off across the country has not taken off.

Sources said the situation is due to the massive debts of the airline to major oil marketers who regularly supply aviation fuel

Other sources said the withdrawal of the airline’s insurance cover in Europe and other parts of the world also forced the airline to stop flight operations.

Meanwhile, the airline has issued a statement to announce temporary disruption to its operations.

“Arik Air, West and Central Africa’s largest airline has alerted all air travelers of a temporary disruption to its operations, pending approval of aircraft documentation related to insurance renewal,” read the statement issued by Ola Adebanji, Arik’s spokesman.

“The airline said that it was working around the clock to resolve the necessary documentation, which has been a challenge due to the long weekend holidays due to Ed al Adha.

“At the present time, all flights of the airline have been cancelled for Tuesday, 13 September 2016 and the airline has stated that it would be getting in touch with passengers to provide an update on rescheduling of their flights.

“This situation is likely to continue for the next few days until such time that NAICOM (National Insurance Commission) approves a waiver on a priority basis for the new insurance company to renew the policy.

“All customers are kindly advised to contact Arik Air’s Call Centre (01-2799999), Airport or City ticket offices or visit the airline’s Website (www.arikair.com) for further updates. Passengers are also advised to check with the airline regarding the status of their flights before proceeding to the airport.

“Arik Air’s Group CEO, Dr. Michael Arumemi-Ikhide, wishes to advise and assure the public, its customers, stakeholders and partners that we are fully committed to returning to our normal operations and minimize any unfortunate inconvenience to our passengers. Where flights have been cancelled, the airline will notify passengers through SMS and in such cases, passengers will be accommodated on first available alternative flight as soon as normal flight operations resume.

“The Group CEO has apologized and appealed (on behalf of the airline) for the understanding of passengers while it works diligently to resume normal operations at the earliest.”

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