FG denies planning to convert Arik to national carrier

The Federal Government has denied speculations that it intends to make Arik Airline the country’s national carrier.

On Thursday the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) took over the airline, appointing, Captain Roy Ilegbodu, as its new head.

Speaking to The Punch on the rumoured plan of the FG to make the airline the national carrier, the Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs, Aviation Ministry, Mr. James Odaudu, said the reports were unfounded.

Odaudu said, “I have heard such claims too and they are just speculations. The federal government is not planning to convert Arik Air to a national carrier, I don’t have that information. Like the minister has always stated, the federal government will establish a private sector driven national carrier.

“As far as I know, I don’t think the government will want to start a national carrier with an airline that is full of encumbrances like Arik Air. Why did AMCON take over Arik Air? It is because of the problems faced by the airline.

“We’ve heard even senior officials of the airline saying that the Federal Government wants to take over Arik because it want to establish a national carrier, but to the best of my knowledge that’s not true. The truth is that as far as government is concerned, the more healthy airlines we have in the country, the better for us as a nation.”

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