Nigerian Airline Aero Contractors Resumes Operations Today

After almost four months of suspension of flight operations, the management of Aero Contractors has announced the resumption of scheduled flight operations from today

The airline had suspended flight operations on August 31, 2016, following the self-inflicted crisis, which culminated in the quick reduction of its 15 fleets of aircraft to just two in less than a year.

A statement by the media consultant of the airline said that the airline decided to suspend flight operations as a result of a strategic business realignment to reposition it and return it to the part of profitability.

The statement hinted that the airline would re-launch scheduled services to Lagos, Abuja, Warri and Port Harcourt, using its Boeing 737-400/500 and the Dash8-Q400, with the expectation that as more aircraft return to service, more routes would be reopened.

The statement quoted the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Aero, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu as saying that: “We are delighted to inform our esteemed customers that our schedule operation is back. Full flights will commence on Thursday, December 22, 2016, with consistent passenger demand despite the suspension of schedule services. This patronage reinforces the strength of our brand and the quality of our service.
“We are aware of the impact the four months suspension had on our staff and our highly esteemed customers. Hence our move to return to operations is to continue to offer the most reliable, safe and secure operations, which the airline is renowned for.”

Akinkuotu urged the airline’s clients with existing tickets before the suspension to contact its Ticket Desks/Call Centre to rebook their tickets free of charge, adding that those who would prefer a refund may send in their refund requests from the 9th of January, 2017.

It would be recalled that the airline had announced the suspension of operation on August 31, 2016, after almost five years of been in murky waters primarily caused by diversion of funds and inflation of aircraft price by the management.
The airline, which was taken over by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), made the crucial decision when its current management led by Capt. Fola Akinkuotu as the Chief Executive Officer could not rescue the airline from going further down.

A source close to the airline had confided in our correspondent that AMCON debt in the troubled airline had grown to N20 billion from the initial N 11 billion in 2011 at the takeover.

The source said that with the initial N14 billion, AMCON had 60 per cent shares in the airline and with the current N20billion, the source said AMCON had taken over the running of the airline entirely and decided to liquidate it.

Besides, the source told our correspondent that the Federal Government through AMCON had engaged the services of a reputable accounting firm to undertake a forensic audit of the airline’s accounts in the past five years and eventually liquidate it.

Workers Protest AMCON’s Closure Of Aero Contractors In Other To Save Their Jobs

Hundreds of employees of Aero Contractors Airline on Wednesday staged peaceful protest over the closure of the airline by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the protest was organised by the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE).

The workers, who began the protest at about 8.45 a.m., marched round the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, carrying various placards expressing their grievances.

The placards had inscriptions such as, “Don’t Allow Aero to Die“, “Save Aero from AMCON“ and “Aero must not go the way of Nigeria Airways“, among others.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Frances Akinjole, the Secretary, ATSSSAN, condemned the “illegal closure’’ of Aero Contractors by AMCON, adding that they would resist the plan to liquidate the company.

Mrs- Akinjole accused AMCON of running the airline aground after it took over majority shares in 2011 by approving bogus salaries and allowances for its representatives.

“Before AMCON took over, the airline had 11 operational aeroplane. They claim to have injected N12 billion in the company, but today, the airline has only three aircraft.

“This is calling on all well-meaning Nigerians to please come to the aid of Aero at this crucial time in her life.

“Aero should not be allowed to die from the strangle of AMCON,’’ she said.

She said that the threat to liquidate the airline would render its over 800 staff unemployed which would have negative effects on the already sick Nigerian economy.

NAN

Aero Contractors Besieged Over Indefinite Leave of Workers

Aviation unions on Thursday besieged the head office of Aero Contractors Airline at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.

The action is coming against the background of the suspension of flight operations which the airline announced would commence on Thursday.

Mr Benjamin Okewu, the President, Air Traffic Services Senior Staff Association (ATSSSAN), told newsmen on Thursday that the unions embarked on the measure following the indefinite leave given to the over 1,400 workers.

The other union whose members also stormed the headquarters of Aero Contractors is the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE).

The management of Aero Contractors had in a statement issued on Wednesday in Lagos, announced that the airline would commence indefinite suspension of scheduled flight operations from Sept. 1.

According to the statement, the suspension is part of the strategic business realignment to reposition the airline and return it to the path of profitability.

The management stated that the decision was due to the current economic situation in Nigeria, which had forced some other airlines to suspend operations or outrightly pull out of Nigeria.

FG Orders Investigation Into Why Aero Passengers Disembarked Using Ladder

The federal government has directed an immediate investigation into the use of an unauthorized equipment by Aero Contractors Airlines at the conclusion of a charter flight to Bauchi over the weekend .

 Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika who directed for an immediate investigation said the incident is inconsistent with Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS).

 A statement by spokesman of the aviation ministry said the investigation will determine the immediate and remote causes of the incident with a view to developing and implementing measures that will prevent a reoccurrence of the unsafe and unacceptable procedure that exposed passengers to high risk of serious injury.

 He reiterated that if the airline is found culpable, the full weight of sanctions within extant laws and regulations would be applied on it.

 The minister assured the traveling public that the ministry of transport in collaboration with Nigerian Civil Aviation  Authority (NCAA) will ensure strict adherence to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations as well as ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices by all operators.

A special charter flight operated by Aero to Bauchi, on Saturday, had problems with unserviceable equipment by the airport management in disembarking about 34 passengers from Abuja.  As a result, the passengers had to use a ladder to disembark.

Credit: DailyTrust

Aero Plane Crash Averted At Lagos Airport

An air crash was averted yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon at the Murtala Mohammed Airport,  Lagos as the tyre of a commercial aircraft belonging to AeroContractors blew up just as the plane was taking off.

Enroute Abuja, the aircraft, Aero flight NG127, which had over 100 passengers on board, successfully took off but the pilot had to make an air return to the terminal where it had departed while passengers, who still wished to continue with their journey, were transferred to other flights.

A passenger on board the flight, who simply identified himself as Emma, told Punch correspondent that the incident happened around 4pm and noted that there was panic in the aircraft when the passengers sitting close to the door noticed that the plane had lost a tyre.

He said, “It was as if the pilot didn’t even know that his aircraft had lost a tyre because he took off from the ground. It was after those of us who were close to the door started screaming that he realised what had happened.

“He later made an emergency return mid-air, and this happened around 4pm. In fact, it was when we landed that we noticed that it was a serious tyre burst. But nobody was hurt and we must appreciate the pilot’s maturity and professionalism in handling the situation and landing the plane with a burst tyre.”

The spokesperson for the airline, Mr. Simon Tumba, said the situation was adequately controlled, as no passenger or crew member sustained any form of injury.

 “Aero flight NG127 from Lagos to Abuja on this day (Tuesday) made an air return as a result of a burst tyre, which occurred just as the airplane was lifting off. The pilot did the right thing by not trying to abort the take off.

“He controlled the airplane into the air and following all training procedures, he brought the plane back to a safe landing. At no time during all of this were the passengers’ lives at any risk,” he said.

Merge Indebted Arik, Aero, Others To Form National Carrier; Joda Committee Tells Buhari

The Buhari administration may be considering merging all debtor airlines in the country into a national carrier, capable of serving the West and Central African regions, with Nigeria as the regional aviation hub.

That is part of the recommendations by the Ahmed Joda transition committee, which submitted its report to President Muhammadu Buhari about two weeks ago.

Six of Nigeria’s leading domestic airlines are currently bogged down by huge debts totalling almost N130 billion, forcing them to turn to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) for a lifeline.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Man Hilariously Narrates How He Was ‘Maltreated’ By Aero Contractors Staff

Lol, if only everyone can take their pains like this. I mean this is a real story but he still found humour in it. So nice… Please read below…

Me I had sworn that no matter how badly treated I was by a Nigerian Airline I won’t say anything. I will just be quiet and watch them disgrace themselves. So for years, I have been very silent with the rubbish they have been meting out on not only me but millions of Nigerians who unfortunately have to use them. From delayed flights, to outright cancellation.

 

From bumpy rides in rickety planes that have seen me peeing on myself and screaming Jesusssssssss, to smelly air hostess with dirty armpits who behave as if they are the best things since slice bread , in all these I have kept my peace and not said anything. I did not even talk when the whole Arik crew descended on my friend the Amiable Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and beat him silly simply because he asked why his seat was given out, I didn’t whimper o.

Maybe that is why, today they brought the fight to me. Me,Ajanaku, the Elephant, Aero people try me today. It all started when I got a text last night as usual postponing my morning flight in Abuja from 8.45am to 11.00am. The fact that I had an 11.0clock appointment that I had been chasing for years did not make me talk, the fact that the client had flown in from America and would be early for the meeting after flying for over 13 hours and me who had just 55minutes to fly would be late did not make me talk. So I took it all in my stride and slept off.

In the morning, I took my time and jumped into traffic and the usual Lagos traffic killed me. I arrived at their counter at exactly 10.30 for the flight and one very dirty Aero staff screamed at me with spittle gushing out of her mouth like a volcano erupting and throwing ash everywhere, ‘ we have closed the counter’ she screamed turning her back and showing me a split in her skirts. I smiled believing that this is NIGERIA and this is Ajanaku that I will surmount this challenge. I called out at her and in my smoothest Don Jazzy voice, I pleaded for help. She was livid, looked at me sternly and asked if I did not understand English, that it was over and gleefully told me that the next flight was for 5 o’clock in the evening.

At this time, my cool evaporated and I started begging. I pleaded as if my life depended on it and at this point about 6 of their lowliest paid staff, all with different kinds of body stench descended on me and telling me categorically that I had to leave and come back by 5pm. I begged and begged and begged all to no avail. I even told them that we all voted APC and that the change had come that they should please temper Justice with mercy. This served to only anger them the more as they immediately started mocking me and laughing at me. Guys, the most painful thing in all these, was the fact that they were still checking in other passengers o. Those with huge and plenty luggages where being given VIP treatment while me in all my Gucci Shoes and trousers was left stranded and being advised to either go to another airline the or should start trekking like all these people trekking for Buhari.

At this point someone in authority strolled in and decided to assist and then I knew what my sin was. He asked them to open the system to see if there was more seats, he stared at the system like the tyrant he was, with the power of life and death. He sent a signal to the Pilot, not to dare move that plane until he decided what to do and after staring at the system for what seemed like an eternity gave judgement, I should be upgraded to first class. I thanked him and prayed that God should bless his mistress and that his wife will never catch him, but as he was walking away, his leprous colleagues called him back and told him that I had complained about being delayed for four hours on my last trip and as such I did not see any reason why I could not board after just being late for 30 minutes.

My people, Emperor turned with all the dignity he could muster and gave instant judgement, no more seats and that was final. I stood there looking like a class clown. I could not believe this was happening to me. The circus midgets all immediately burst into imbecilic laughter and stuck out their tongues at me.

Out of frustration, I left them and went to the medview counter, where the Angels there gave me a seat on their 12 noon flight. I thanked them and paid but decided to go back to Aero counter to vent. My people, I for Kuku just go my way o. Na police dey wait for me o. The goons had called Police for me and you know police, na who first report na him get case. The bleached police man demanded for my phone and asked to go through my picture gallery that I had taken pictures of the Aero staff.

That’s how the man went through my phone, enjoyed himself with all the – you know the kind picture that will be there na- took his time and decided which ones he will delete and which ones he will keep and in all these the minions where still laughing and still checked people into a flight they had said was full an hour ago.

I thank God for the NCAA people who came to my assistance. Took me to their office took my complaints and calmed me down. They said they had been receiving series of complaints from harassed and humiliated passengers and will certainly do something this time.

So my people, Aero used to be my favorite airline, but with this kind of harassment and being treated like a thief I have left them and taken my wahala somewherelse. You can be sure, I will not miss their shitty service, I will not miss their cheap onboard flight, I will not miss the unpredictability of their services, I I’ll not miss their rickety planes, I will not miss having to ‘settle’ their poorly paid and under trained staff and I will certainly won’t have to kneel down and beg to be boarded simply because I mistakenly mentioned that if they could delay me for four hours, they should be a little bit more tolerant with my 30minute lateness, even though the flight was still on ground and checking in was still ongoing.

As I write, I am headed to the Airport with my heart in my mouth. One of the goons had threatened to cancel my return ticket and that I will never fly Aero. I asked him if his father was Ibru that he should try it. My people maybe I should join the Trekkers.