Managing Director, Arik Air, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, on Wednesday said the huge debts incurred by the airline’s former management was one of the major factors hindering its return to international operations.
Ilegbodu made the disclosure while receiving the 54th President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Alhaji Razak Jaiyeola, who paid a courtesy visit to Arik Air Headquarters in Lagos.
The Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) had in February 2017 took over the airline due to its huge indebtedness.
Ilegbodu noted that the airline had suspended its flights to New York, London and Johannesburg as part of its reorganisation plans.
He said “Arik Air was established in 2006 as the largest airline in Nigeria. We have had our ups and downs but we have been able to stabilise the airline.
“At the moment, we are consolidating and in the near future you will see an airline that you will be very proud of.’’
According to him, the management of the airline is aware of the importance of playing on the international stage but is also aware of the challenges ahead.
“The process is quite tedious and it will take between 12 to 18 months to be able to get back on that stage but I cannot guarantee you that it will happen very soon.
“The previous management left a lot of international debts and we need to address the issue before we can restart our flight operations on these routes,’’ Ilegbodu said.