AIRLINE operators have accused Arik Air of showing bad faith with its recent decision to ban the managing director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) form using any of its flights.
Yesterday, Arik published a list of 25 people who are henceforth banned from using its flights and top of the list was George Uriesi, the head of FAAN. Captain Balarabe Usman, of the Aviation Stakeholders Squaretable described the act as incorrigible and an arrogant display of disregard for constituted authority.
In addition, Captain Usman accused Arik of showing utter disrespect to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). Over the weekend, the SGF Senator Pius Anyim presided over a peace meeting at which it was agreed that all the parties in the recent dispute take a step back and let business return to normal.
Under the terms of the agreement, Arik resumed flights, which it had suspended previously, and the government stopped applying pressure to the airline while the two sides worked out how much the airline owes FAAN.
Captain Usman said: “We were amazed by a circular from the airline, which permanently blacklisted the FAAN managing director Mr George Uriesi from boarding any of its flights barely 24 hours after a peace meeting chaired by the SGF, Senator Pius Anyim, which directed all parties to sheath their swords. Their resort to listing the managing director alongside accused drug traffickers smacks of vendetta and wicked intentions.
“In any case, the managing director or any other Nigerian is not obliged to fly Arik Air. We call on the friends of Arik Air to encourage them to begin to adopt acceptable business practices and own up to their liabilities and discharge their obligations faithfully to their clients.”