The Chief Executive Officer of Aero Contractors, Captain Ado Sanusi, has argued against Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) merging the company with Arik Air. Sanusi said both companies are not compatible considering their history and present circumstances.
There are plans to merge both companies by AMCON, according to This Day.
AMCON a is government agency that take over companies in financial distress, and both Arik Air and Aero Contractors are under the management of AMCON. While reacting to the merger plan, Sanusi said it is not the right move to make.
According to him, the government has the right to merge both airlines, but their origin and present situation makes it a wrong plan. He, however, said financial experts can put the two companies in one piece, "Aero and Arik can come together but the history of those companies are not similar; their origin and circumstances are different, but government can get financial experts that can look at the two companies and put them together to make sure we serve the public better.
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"I hope that the federal government is not going to lose that objective because airlines provide efficient logistics that is safe and fast. I think that government has the legal right to do anything, but I don’t think that it is a good way to follow for the two airlines, but I believe that if you get very good consultants, there is nothing that is impossible to do,” Sanusi told This Day.
Industry consultant and CEO of Aglo Limited, Tayo Ojuri, said Aero Contractor is capable of standing alone as it generated over N350 million last year, "“Aero Maintenance is a different entity and it has been doing well. I don’t think they should sell off that part. It generated N350 million last year and aircraft are lined up to be maintained.
"They have a strategic alliance with foreign partners, which is very good.” Ojuri said. He, however, stated that for their survival considering the burden caused by COVID-19, “I believe it is the way to go and they should giver it consideration,” Ojuri said.
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AMCON Spokesman, Jude Nwuzor, said he is not aware of the proposed merger between Arik Air and Aero Contractors. The talk of merger arises amidst airlines struggling to survive following the disruption of their operation and revenue generation by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nigeria had lockdown its airspace, preventing airlines from commercial flight, in order to curb the spread of the virus. The aviation industry was lockdown for about four months, with the industry said to lose about NGN20 billion monthly during the lockdown.