Nigeria carrier, Arik Airline might soon be taken over by Ethopian Airlines if both parites comes to an agreement. The Managing Director of International Services, Ethiopian Airlines, Mr. Esayas WoldeMariam, was quoted by the CNN on Thursday to have said that the airline had submitted a formal offer to take over the carrier.
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. Report also quoted Godfrey Odudigbo of the Nigerian embassy in Addis Ababa as saying that negotiations over Arik could be concluded by the end of the year.
The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria which took over the airline said they were not aware of the development. That there had been no confirmation from any government agency since the news broke and that the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, had said that he was unaware of Ethiopian Airlines’ bid for Arik’s management.
The Federal Government, through AMCON, took over the operations of Arik, the nation’s biggest carrier, in February, and appointed Capt. Roy Ukpebo Ilegbodu as its new manager. Few weeks after the takeover of Arik in February, it was reported that Ethiopian Airlines rejected offer by AMCON to invest in Arik.
The rejection was due to the huge debt profile of the airline. The debt which is over N300bn, with AMCON alone owed N135bn; while its obligations to aviation fuel suppliers, insurance firms, aircraft maintenance organisations, the Federal Government and the various aviation agencies, as well as food while food vendors made up the balance.