The passengers who gathered at the reception of the airline headquarters in Lagos took a swipe at the airline for its inability to timely refund their fares to enable them join other airlines to their destinations.
The passengers were shouting at the officials at the reception, who tried to calm them.
This is just as the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) disclosed on Monday that Arik Air, under its previous management, was indebted to the tune of $78 million to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
This was disclosed by Mr. Simon Tumba, Media Consultant to Arik Air , in Lagos.
Tumba said the debt was for all aviation services provided under the platform of IATA which recently suspended the airline from its Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) and Cargo Account Settlement System (CASS).
He said: “Arik Air under the former management was owing everywhere they operated. Apart from the over N300 billion owed to AMCON, the airline also owes about N50 billion to Nigerian banks and another $78 million to IATA.
According to him, out of the almost 30 aircraft in the airline’s fleet, only about 10 was currently serviceable which necessitated the new management to reduce its routes and flight operations.
He alleged that the new management also discovered that Arik had no record of gains and losses of operations carried out in 2015.
Tumba said the management in collaboration with AMCON have appointed KPMG to carry out a forensic audit on the airline, adding that there result would be out in the next ten weeks.
“The current management is looking at the backlog of salaries owed staff because the staff needs to be motivated to get the airline running properly.
“The current management is working with government to add five aircraft to the fleet to increase its size and the airline’s routes.
“We have also resolved the issue of fuel supply which has improved Arik Air’s flight operations since the takeover,” he added.