Aero Contractors Airlines, Nigeria’s second largest commercial carrier, has suspended its scheduled services beginning from Thursday September 1, 2016.
The airline said in a statement on Wednesday that the suspension was part of the strategic business realignment to reposition the airline and return it to the part of profitability.
The airline said the decision to suspend operations was due to issues of forex, inability to bring back some of its aircraft that were flown out for maintenance, as well as the precarious financial situation of the company, despite being taken over by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria.
The statement read: “The impact of the external environment has been very harsh on our operational performance, hence the management decision to suspend scheduled services operations indefinitely effective September 1, 2016, pending when the external opportunities and a robust sustainable and viable plan is in place for Aero Contractors to recommence its scheduled services.
“The implication of the suspension of scheduled services operations extends to all staff members directly and indirectly involved in providing services as they are effectively to proceed on indefinite leave of absence during the period of non-services.”
As passengers, who had earlier booked travel tickets online stormed the ticketing counters of Aero in some airports, the airline had to swiftly announce that it would refund the payments made by the intending travellers.
Officials of the firm told our correspondent that the carrier had also agreed to refund those who may have made payments for tickets in cash for trips that were to happen on Thursday, September 1, 2016.
It is not yet known when the suspension would be suspended.