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Arik apologises to passengers over disruption of its operations

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The management of Arik Air on Monday apologised to its customers over the disruption caused by the picketing of its operations in Lagos on Monday.

The airline appealed to its passengers whose travel plans were disrupted by the picketing carried out by aviation unions.

Adebanji Ola, Manager, Communications of Arik Air, made the apology in a statement Monday evening.

Operations of Arik Air were on Monday shut down by the aviation unions over alleged non-payment of staff salaries since April. The unions said the airline failed to cater for staff welfare after it allegedly placed many of the workforce on compulsory leave, amid other anti-labour practices.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the unions included the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN).

But Arik said in its statement that the picketing was done without the approval of the leadership of the unions.

“We wish to place on record that the picketing was illegal and has no backing of the aviation unions whose leadership have embraced dialogue by attending mediatory meetings called by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA),” the statement said.

“The management strongly condemns this action and once again assures all stakeholders of a safe and conducive working environment.

“We shall also protect the interest of the flying public for a safe, friendly and on time travelling experience.

“We are already working with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ministry of Aviation and NCAA to resolve all pending issues with the unions and a section of the staff,” he said.

Mr Ola also assured customers with valid tickets who could not fly on Monday to modify such tickets at no cost for future travels.

“We are working to bring the situation under control and the public will be advised accordingly,” he said.

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