By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Operators of Aero Contractors have disclosed that they would be closing down operations from Thursday, September 1, 2016.
They have also asked the affected staff to proceed on leave of absence indefinitely.
This comes after months of skeletal operations which saw the airline’s schedules shrinking to very low ebb.
Aero Contractors is Nigeria’s second biggest indigenous airline.
According to the Chief Executive Officer Aero Contractors, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, the development was part of the strategic business realignment to reposition the airline and return it to profitability.
Capt. Akinkuotu further explained that the suspension of the airline’s services was the culmination of its seemingly unending operational woes which necessitated its take-over by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
Despite AMCON’s intervention in February and the appointment of a Receiver-Manager, Mr Tunde Gbenro and then Capt. Akinkuotu, the airline owned by the Alex Ibru family could not rise on its feet as its operations continued to shrink.
Aero recently suspended its operation to Accra, Ghana, a decision it attributed to unavailability of aircraft.
Capt. Akinkuotu explained that the airline had faced grave challenges in the past six months which impacted its business and by extension its scheduled services operations.
He said the airline’s rise was thwarted largely by the harsh operational environment which had made it difficult for it to continue its scheduled services.
“Unfortunately, the operating environment within and outside the airline have hindered any possible progress especially in the last six months when the naira depreciated against the dollar thus making it impossible for the airline to achieve its operational targets,” he said.