Workers in the aviation sector on Friday staged a protest against the emergence of a new airline: Nigerian Eagle put together by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) from the current crisis ridden Arik Air.
The workers acting under the aegis of the National Union of Air Transport Employees ( NAUTE) said AMCON was already transferring personnel to the new carrier from Arik Air while being silent on the records of such workers.
Addressing reporters after the protest, NUATE’s General Secretary, Comrade Ocheme Aba said the union is worried that the new carrier is an attempt by AMCON to sidestep the debt overhang of Arik Air by making money from the airline business without serious capital injection.
He said AMCON is only interested in moving all valuable assets from Arik Air, including its personnel into Nigerian Eagle Airline.
Aba said there are ominous signs that what should ordinarily be a lofty project will likely run into a heavy storm being created by a thoroughly fouled and convoluted industrial atmosphere at Arik Air.
He said:” It is the most open secret at this time in aviation here in Nigeria that the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) has chosen to float a new Airline known as NG Eagle.
“There are ominous signs that what should ordinarily be a lofty project will likely run into a heavy storm being created by a thoroughly fouled and convoluted industrial atmosphere at Arik Air.
“We consider it most unfortunate that an odd combination of AMCON’s egoistic, evasive and self-defeating tendencies on the one hand, and Arik Air’s unrelenting penchant for courting crisis on the other hand, as well as severally demonstrated lack of capacity/disdain for labour relations practice have evoked a perplexing atmosphere of forlornness in the Airline. Under this atmosphere, it is practically impossible to be hopeful of any good thing. Hence, our misgivings concerning NG Eagle.
“We wish to use this medium to pose the following questions which expose the evil machinations inherent in AMCON’s/Arik Air’s unholy craft and perfidy called NG Eagle.
” Presently AMCON is in receivership of two airlines – Arik Air and Aero Contractors – being a 60 per cent shareholder in the latter. One should then ask why AMCON would be floating another Airline. We smell a rat. We decipher that AMCON’s unstated objective is to open a window of business opportunity as a way to recoup its heavy financial losses through the heavy debts in Arik and Aero.
“But, surely NUATE can’t be the only ones wondering what sort of business ingenuity there could be in running three airlines simultaneously.”