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Aero Contractors suspends flight operation

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Aero Contractors suspend commercial operations

Nigeria’s oldest airline, Aero Contractors, has suspended commercial operations due to the rising cost of aviation fuel and economic crunch.

The state-controlled Nigerian airline has reportedly pruned down its number of aircrafts.

In a statement on Monday, the airline said that most of its aircraft are currently undergoing maintenance and this has resulted to its subpar services.

The airline assured that it will restore its commercial operations in a matter of weeks, noting that, it will continue to provide helicopter and charter services operations.

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“Due to the impact of the challenging operating environment on our daily operations, the management of Aero Contractors Company of Nig. Ltd. wish to announce the temporary suspension of its scheduled passenger services operations with effect from Wednesday, July 20, 2022.

“This 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 aircraft 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 aircraft 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 airline said.

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The airline explained that the last few months have been challenging for the aviation industry and for airline operators in particular with the high cost of maintenance, skyrocketing fuel prices, inflation, and forex scarcity resulting in high foreign exchange rates, adding that 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. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused to our esteemed customers and promise to return to service as soon as possible,” the airline also said.

But the signs that the airline may go under emerged two months ago when the airline fleet was reduced to two aged aircraft, Bombardier Dash 8-300 and Boeing 737-500 in their early 30s and totally bereft of operating cash, which brought the airline down to its knees and it became moribund.

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