Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, was this weekend accused of cannibalizing Arik Air aircraft and using the parts to repair Aero Contractors planes. This is just as an official of Aero Contractors acknowledged the act and said Aero pays Arik Air 25,000 Dollars monthly for one of the engines taken from Arik planes.
The two airlines are under the management of AMCON, having gone under receivership due to indebtedness’ to the corporation. A reliable source in Arik, who prefers anonymity, told Vanguard that “an engine of a Bombardier Dash 8, Q400 was taken away from Arik aircraft with registration, 5N-BKV and given to Aero to fix in the same aircraft type, which broke down recently in Kaduna.”
According to the source who was involved in the transaction, “ it was a second engine of the aircraft that was removed in a lease agreement in which Aero would be paying Arik $25,000 a month until the engine was returned.” The source also alleged that besides the engine, other parts were removed from the aircraft to repair the Aero aircraft. The source said, “The agreement term that Aero pays $25,000 monthly for the engine is exploitative and against the interest of Arik because in other parts of the world when this lease arrangement is done the airline pays for the engine per hour and should also pay for maintenance reserve for the engine, which were not done in the so-called lease between Arik and Aero.”
The source also noted that the aircraft from which the part has been cannibalized may have been destroyed because it was not only that part that was taken from the aircraft. “When AMCON took over Arik, the airline had 15 serviceable aircrafts but AMCON claimed they were 10. Now, from that 10, Arik has four aircrafts. The new management owes all fuel markers N450 million. So AMCON has started cannibalizing Arik Air aircraft who knows the next thing it wants to do. Their flights have decreased and there are still delays. From all these it has become obvious that AMCON cannot manage the airline,” the inside source revealed.
When contacted, a top official of Aero Contractors acknowledged the lease of Arik aircraft engine and said the action is legal and an international practice. The source also said that; ‘’The airline could have leased the engine from any other airline in the world, but we decided to take that of Arik because the money being paid would remain in the country.”
When contacted on phone, AMCON Public Relations Manager, Mr Jude Nwazor told Vanguard that there is nothing illegal about taking Arik Air plane parts to repair Aero Contractors planes since both airlines are under AMCON receivership and control.