The Federal Government announced that it has intervened and stopped the sack of 300 employees of Arik Air, whose appointments were set to be terminated by the company.
Musa Nuhu, Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), disclosed this at the press briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja on Thursday.
Arik Air had in a statement last Friday announced that it was retrenching 300 of its staff, blaming it on the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic impact it has had on the business.
However, Nuhu explained that none of the staff was eventually dismissed as the NCAA stepped in to resolve the situation.
“Yes there was an issue but the staff were never sacked. There was a threat by one of the airlines and some disengagement disagreements, but the NCAA intervened.
“We spoke with both the management and labour unions and they have agreed to go back to the discussion table.
“The last report I received, they have made significant progress in closing that gaps. We hope they conclude and nobody is sacked.”
Nuhu also stated that the over 100 per cent hike in domestic airfares is one of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said: “As regards ticket prices, yes ticket prices have gone up astronomically over the last week or so. That is one of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aviation, tourism and travel industry is one of the most devastated industries.
“Because we had a shutdown for several months, the airlines were not making money and there are fixed cost that they have to deal with.
“They have to maintain the aircraft and unfortunately most of these aircraft are maintained outside the country.”
The NCAA Director-General stated that because of the shutdown, airlines could not find slots to take their aircraft out, adding that the dollar rate had gone up and operators needed to raise enough money.