The signs that all is not well in the Nigerian aviation industry is manifesting as a prediction that three carriers could cease operations this year is becoming a reality as Nigeria’s oldest airline, Aero Contractors has stopped scheduled passenger operations.
Aero Contractors has announced it is shutting down operations due to the impact of the challenging operating environment on its daily operations.
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The airline in a statement on Monday said it would temporarily suspend its scheduled passenger services operations with effect from July 20, 2022.
The statement said the temporary cessation of operations “does not in any way affect the Maintenance activities of the Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO) otherwise known as AeroMRO, the Approved Training Organisation (ATO) also known as Aero Training School, the Helicopter and Charter Services operations.”
“This decision was carefully considered and taken due to the fact that most of our aircrafts are currently undergoing Maintenance, resulting in our inability to offer a seamless and efficient service to our esteemed customers.”
“We are working to bring these aircrafts back to service in the next few weeks, so we can continue to offer our passengers the safe, efficient, and reliable services that Aero Contractors is known for, which is the hallmark of Aero Contractors Company of Nig. Ltd.
“The past few months have been very challenging for the Aviation industry and the airline operators in particular. With the high cost of maintenance, skyrocketing fuel prices, inflation, and forex scarcity resulting in high foreign exchange rates. These are amongst the major components of airline operations.
“In the meantime, we are working assiduously to return to service as quickly as possible, and do assure our esteemed customers and stakeholders of our determination, that our short absence will not create any major void in the market, as we are coordinating with our business partners to ensure minimum discomfort to ticket holders.
“As members of Spring Alliance (a commercial alliance with member airlines providing mutual support in the area of operations), we are liaising with our partner airlines to minimise the impact on our esteemed customers.
“Our customer service team will be working to help affected esteemed customers reach their destinations.