Roy Ilegbodu, the managing director of Arik Air, says the airline cannot begin international operations because of the huge debts left by the previous managers.
Speaking on Wednesday at the airline’s headquarters, Ilegbodu said there is no guarantee that the company will resume plying international routes soon.
The Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) had taken over the airline in February 2017 due to a huge debt.
“Arik Air was established in 2006 as the largest airline in Nigeria. We have had our ups and downs but we have been able to stabilise the airline,” Ilegbodu told members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), who paid him a visit.
“At the moment, we are consolidating and in the near future, you will see an airline that you will be very proud of.
“The process is quite tedious and it will take between 12 to 18 months to be able to get back on that stage but I cannot guarantee you that it will happen very soon.
“The previous management left a lot of international debts and we need to address the issue before we can restart our flight operations on these routes.”
At present, Arik Air and Aero Contractors are under the control of AMCON after both businesses could not survive under the weight of its debt.
AMCON was established in 2010, with a 10-year lifespan, to stabilise Nigeria’s financial sector by resolving issues of non-performing loans in banks.