According to report the Ethiopian Airlines is currently negotiating with the Nigerian government to take over bankrupt Arik Air.
Confirming the report, in Addis Ababa on Wednesday, the Director of International Service at the Ethiopian Airlines Group, Mr. Esayas Weldemariam, disclosed that the East African carrier is “willing and able to take over the management of Arik Air.”
It was also revealed that the Ethiopia’s takeover negotiations started following a request by Nigeria’s aviation ministry.
“Following the bid opened by the Nigerian government, we are negotiating to secure management contract of Arik Air,” Mr. Esayas said, responding to the rumours about the impending deal.
“Based on the terms and conditions set by the Government of Nigeria, Ethiopian Airlines has submitted its offer to take over the management of Arik Air… We are bidding with other airlines, if we agree on the negotiations, we are ready to go and take over the management,” Mr. Esayas said.
Arik Air, which is one of the largest private airlines in Nigeria, On 3rd of April 2006 took over the former Nigeria Airways facilities in Lagos, some three years after its liquidation, and began reconstruction work.
In June 2006, Arik took delivery of 2 new Bombardier CRJ-900 aircraft to fly domestic routes throughout Nigeria and within the African continent from Summer 2006, 2 ex-United Airlines Boeing 737–300s and 3 50 seat Bombardier CRJ-200 aircraft.
Later in August 2006, the Federal Ministry of Aviation granted Arik Air authorization to fly outside country. But following the failure to service its debts and pay employees’ salaries, Arik Air was last February taken over by the government.
The Ethiopian Airlines set take over the troubled Nigerian airline, also manages Asky Airlines in Lome, in a joint ownership with the Togo government, and the Malawian Airlines, also jointly with the government