Ethiopian Air’s hopes of taking over Arik anytime soon, may have to wait soon. In a notice signed by its Head of Corporate Communications Jude Nwauzor, the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) denied any knowledge of Ethiopian Air’s proposal and maintained that it had run the airline creditably since taking it over.
“It is on record that the Receivership Team has within the period stabilised the operations of the airline, marked by stability of schedules; improved On-Time-Performance (OTP) and revamped customer service among others. “Today, the Airline has regained its dominance as the most reliable carrier in the country with growing passenger patronage and confidence.“
Nwauzor however confirmed that AMCON would keep the public abreast of developments relating to the airline.
Why AMCON may have reacted that way
AMCON may have denied knowledge about the deal to avoid being put in a cross fire between the previous owners of Arik Air and any intending buyer. A former Vice Chairman of the Airline, Senator Anietie Okon had alleged in a recent interview that some powerful individuals had conspired to take over the airline but for AMCON’s intervention.
AMCON may also have issued the statement in order not to foreclose the possibility of other investors showing interest in the airline.
What this means for Arik
AMCON’s denial of the Ethiopian Air’s bid signals the bank may be in opposition to the deal. Arik may thus remain under AMCON’s management for the foreseeable future. AMCON took over the affairs of Arik Air in February 2016. It has spent billions so far in order to stabilize the operations of the airline. Potential investors in the airline may also be wary of participating in the bid process as AMCON’s stance seems to be at odds with the Federal Government.