Arik Air earlier in the week marked its ten years of flying promising to continue to make safety and good service its number one priority.
Speaking for the airline, the managing director, Chris Ndulue used the period to declare the plans by the airline to further expand his operations within Africa and international routes.
Ndulue who agreed that the ongoing economic recession was taking its toll on airline business and aviation where he said most transactions are done in foreign currencies, said lack of forex was badly affecting the airlines.
He particularly explained how the recession has been slowing down the airline’s plan to expand annually, charging the federal government to urgently find a lasting solution to the challenges including; funding, infrastructure and other policies inhibiting the growth of the carriers.
The Arik Air MD, while assuring that with the current programmes and policies of the government, that the nation would be out of recession in less than a year further spoke on the airlines’ expansion plan saying: “Expansion of operations has slowed down due to the recession we have on funding. We will have to look out in terms of sourcing for funding. We believe the current recession won’t last forever and we believe that things would change in the next one year.”
Ndulue who dropped the hint that the airline is considering foraying into Asia and Middle East in its next phase of expansion plans also announced of plans to grow its current fleet from of 28 aircraft to 52 by 2025, stressing that the airline hoped to maintain its market leadership and growth strategy.
In his speech, the Chairman of the airline, Sir. Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide said that it took political intervention for the airline to recover its own portion of funds, which is about $4.5 million trapped in the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN).
He also used the time to talk on the forex concession recently granted by the CBN saying the local airlines were yet to access the special sectorial allocation. of forex.