Why Arik Air Suspended Dubai Operations

Why Arik Air Suspended Dubai Operations

Reactions from stakeholders in the aviation industry have continued to trail the decision of Arik Airline to suspend flight operations on the Lagos/Abuja-Dubai route on Monday, May 4, 2015.

This is coming barely a year after commencement of operations on the route in July 2014.

It cited a challenging wider economic environment in Nigeria as well as increasingly stringent travel regulation controls in the United Arabs Emirates , UAE, as reasons for its decision.

However, stakeholders in the industry said that the major reason Arik Airline stopped flight was its inability to compete with the likes of Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways who are major players on that route.

A source who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said since Nigeria Airways developed the Dubai route, no other airline in the country had been able to fly on the route successfully and make profit.

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The source said:  “Arik Air cannot compete with the likes of Emirates and Qatar Airways on the Dubai route. This is because, the government of United Arabs Emirates heavily subsidises Emitrates’operations on that route.

‘’They can even take fuel free of charge and you know that that alone cost about 35 to 40 percent of the total cost.  Emirates Airlines can easily reduce its fares just to beat competitors on that route.

“Nigerian Airways developed the Dubai route, even before the coming of Emirates airline and since the demise of Nigerian Airways, airlines such as Virgin Nigeria, Bellview, now Arik Air have not been able to compete on the route.

“They are not telling you the truth, it was the same factors that made those airlines like Virgin Nigeria, Bellview airlines to cancel their operations to Dubai that is also affecting Arik Airline, the bottom line is that they cannot compete on that route.”

National President of Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, Comrade Benjamin Okewu, pointed out that there was more to reasons given by Arik Airlines for suspension of operations.

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