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Baring no hiccups, a new airline, NG Eagle, an independent entity backed by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) could get its all-important Air Operator Certificate (AOC) next month according to a source very close to the airline.
The source who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media because of the sensitivity of the matter told Aviation Metric that the carrier would operate as a separate entity from Arik Air.
He equally stated that everything was going on well in respect of the AOC with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) which is the issuing authority.
He however did not disclose if the carrier would start operation immediately after it gets its certificate.
“I can’t tell you that if everything goes well, NG Eagle could get its AOC next week. They have followed all the due processes to meet the requirements of the NCAA. It is a different entity from Arik Air”, he stated.
A one-time promising airline, Arik has two fates awaiting it. AMCON has two options open to it in either sustaining the carrier in its epileptic state or outright liquidation to recoup the majority of the over N500 billion owed the assets managers by the carrier which necessitated its take-over in February 2017.
The issuance of AOC by the NCAA would pave the way for the much-awaited airline for Nigeria and one that could expand the airline space in the country.
Activities for the airline’s take-off are gradually picking up as the promoters of the soon-to-be start-up carrier have already acquired three airplanes, secured offices at the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 (MMA2), and other places including the recruitment of key personnel.
There are indications that some workers of Arik Air have already been engaged in the airline and as such there are ongoing negotiations over severance benefits of staff of Arik before the new entity comes onboard.
Aviation Metric had exclusively reported in February 2020 a plan to set up a new carrier under the control of AMCON.
Meanwhile, unions in Arik Air today warned the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and the National Union of Pensioners (NUP) over comments aimed at derailing the AOC issuance to NG Eagle.
National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) and National Union of Air Transport Employées (NUATE) described the other two unions as clogs in the wheel of progress by looking for ways to disrupt ongoing negotiations over severance benefits of staff of Arik before the new entity comes onboard.
The unions in a rally and press conference held at Arik Headquarters in Lagos said they were taken aback by the call of the two unions which are not domesticated in Arik and wondered why they have turned debt collectors.
According to the General Secretary of NUATE, Ocheme Aba right now the workers in Arik do not need distractions especially as it is close to negotiating the severance of Arik workers.
“By the time NG Eagle will be taking off, there will not be any staff of Arik Air who has not been properly severed, that is our mandate.
” Our purpose, we stated clearly we did not say they should not be given AOCs but we said we will not let them fly until the status of Arik Staff with regards NG Eagle has been properly established”.
“If their years of service to Arik have been compensated they can go to NG Eagle and pick up new employment”.
He further stated that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA) will not reduce its level and professionalism to be dictated to on whom they can give AOCs to stressing that the AOC process followed certain laid down procedures.
He also clarified that since AMCON took over, that it is not indebted to anyone but what amounts to debt is purely the legacy debt.Google+