AMCON set to launch national carrier with Arik, Aero planes
The planned takeoff of the national carrier, Nigeria Eagle, has reached an advanced stage as the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) is reported to be pooling together its aviation assets, largely from the seized aircraft from Arik Air and Aerocontactors Airlines.
According to an anonymous source who is familiar with the development, the national carrier is likely to commence operations in June this year and will have in its fleet a minimum of 10 aircraft.
AMCON is expected to make an official statement on the deal very soon.
The move to float an international carrier by AMCON is to wriggle out of the multibillion naira liabilities currently hanging on the Arik and Aero Contractors.
The debts are believed to be hindering new buyers from showing interest in the two carriers which AMCON has been willing to sell to new investors.
AMCON was established by the Federal Government in 2010 to buy over bad debts from commercial banks in order to save the banking system from imminent collapse. This followed the 2009 financial industry crisis in the country.
The bad debt manager has a mandate to recover bank loans from several companies whose bad debts had been bought over by AMCON.
AMCON took over the management of Arik and Aero some years back, following the two carriers’ inability to continue servicing their debts running into several billions of naira.
Unconfirmed reports said AMCON had made failed attempts to sell the two airlines apparently due to their huge liabilities and likely litigation from the original owners.
The latest move by AMCON to pool its assets especially planes in the two carriers is expected to help the bad debt manager to recover its investment in the two carriers ahead of its winding down in 2023.