by Isi Esene
Reports say that Arik Arline today suspended all its flights out of Lagos leaving passengers at the Murtala Muhammed Airport stranded.
There are conflicting accounts as regards the actual cause of the flight suspension but some published reports say flights were grounded by labour unions over unpaid dues to them.
It further stated that Aviation Union leaders and their members converged on the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport around 7a.m today to prevent the carrier from operating its normal flights out of Lagos.
A separate account said the flights were suspended due to the “persistent hostility of the Ministry of Aviation and Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) management.”
Yet another account indicate the Arik flight operations was officially shut down by the FAAN as a result of the airline’s inability to pay the N18bn it allegedly owes the aviation agency.
Whatever the account you may wish to believe, what is obvious is that many passengers of the airline are stranded in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja as a result of the suspension.
It is necessary to note that this same airline has been recommended as Nigeria’s national flag bearer by a Senate committee. Will we ever get it right?