Arik Air collapse threatens Boeing orders
The Nigerian airline has pending orders for both 747-8 jumbo jets and 787 Dreamliners.
Seattle Times aerospace reporter
In a blow to Boeing’s order book, West African airline Arik Air has ceased operations indefinitely amid chaos in Nigeria’s aviation sector.
The Associated Press reported that Arik Air cancelled its flights Thursday after men rampaged through its maintenance hangar at the International Airport in Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos.
The airline’s executives blamed employees of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria. The airport authority in turn blamed the raid on unions upset over unpaid salaries. And the union alleged corruption and non-payment of wages, according to AP.
A spokesman for the country’s Aviation Ministry later told AP that Arik was using the disruption of its flights as an excuse to try and escape paying money owed to the federal government.
Arik was one of the few remaining airlines operating in Nigeria. It is one of only four airline customers with orders for the passenger model of Boeing’s new jumbo jet, the 747-8.
Boeing has pending firm orders from Arik for two 747-8s, eight 737s and seven 787-9s.
Dominic Gates: (206) 464-2963 or email@example.com
This article, posted Sept. 20, 2012, was corrected Sept. 24. The article originally said Lagos is Nigeria’s capital; it is the largest city, but Abuja is the capital. The article also said three airlines have ordered the 747-8 passenger version; there are four.