Saturday, 2 September 2017

Ethiopian Airlines Poised To Buy Arik Air


Ethiopian Airlines, Africa's largest airline is poised to take over the troubled Nigerian airline Arik Air, causing much consternation on the continent. 


Arik Air, Nigeria's biggest carrier, has since February, been operated by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, thanks to a prolonged crisis that saw many services canceled, staff going without wages and huge soaring debt. 

Ethiopian Airlines confirmed its bid for its Nigerian rival, “We have outlined our terms and conditions to the Nigerian government and we are waiting to see if they agree. We are capable and desirous of handling the airline.” The airlines managing director of international services Esayas WoldeMariam told the media.  "We are bidding with other airlines, if we agree on the negotiations, we are ready to go and take over the management," he said.




Godfrey Odudigbo from the Nigerian embassy in Addis Ababa said the negotiation between the Nigerian government and Ethiopian Airlines could be completed by the end of the year. However, the news has not been welcomed by all, “What is a surprise is the shamelessness and desperation of our aviation authorities to mortgage the future of our country for gold and silver." Said Anietie Okon, the airlines former vice president. 

“Arik Air, a wholly owned Nigerian company operated without hitch for 10 years. It started when naira was 150/$1 and fuel was 97 per litre and managed without any significant increase in fares, it survived for 10 years in a very hostile operations environment, paying loans it obtained in USD and salaries to over 2000 employees."

“The company ran into heavy clouds as the economy went into recession and next line of action was for AMCON to take it over and now hurrying to hand it over to a foreign company that will sack most of the indigenous staff of the airline."

Arik Air shareholders have condemned the reported plan by the federal government to hand over the airline to Ethiopian Airlines.

Ethiopian Airlines has submitted its bid to take over the management of Arik Air, which the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) took over this year.


Speaking on behalf of the shareholders, former Vice President of the airline, Senator Anietie Okon said “This is not coming as a surprise since Ethiopian Airlines has a commercial objective of dominating Africa.

“What is a surprise is the shamelessness and desperation of our aviation authorities to mortgage the future of our country for gold and silver.

“Arik Air, a wholly owned Nigerian company operated without hitch for 10 years. It started when naira was 150/$1 and fuel was 97 per litre and managed without any significant increase in fares, it survived for 10 years in a very hostile operations environment, paying loans it obtained in USD and salaries to over 2000 employees.

“The company ran into heavy clouds as the economy went into recession and next line of action was for AMCON to take it over and now hurrying to hand it over to a foreign company that will sack most of the indigenous staff of the airline.”

He claimed “the level of lack of patriotism and shamelessness by some people in government offices” and described it as “appalling and desecration of national decency and honor.

The deal would further cement Ethiopian as the largest and most successful African airline with a vast fleet and global reach that would be the envy of most other airline chiefs. 




Jason Shaw


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