Arik Air Temporarily Suspends Flights

Arik Air (W3/Lagos) has tentatively cancelled all flights Tuesday, September 13 after it was forced to switch insurance providers at the last moment. Deputy Managing Director Ado Sanusi told Bloomberg news that the suspension was caused when the airline’s original insurer failed to secure the foreign currency needed to remit premiums abroad.

Arik Air Boeing 737-86N(WL) 5N-MJN at London Heathrow Copyright: Ben King

“This situation is likely to continue for the next few days until such time that NAICOM (National Insurance Commission) approves a waiver on a priority basis for the new insurance company to renew the policy,” a statement said. Arik is the second Nigerian carrier, and the largest so far, to suffer significant operational disturbances as a result of the country’s ongoing foreign currency shortages.

Earlier this month, the country’s oldest carrier Aero Contractors  (NG, Lagos)  suspended operations indefinitely citing the continued weakness of the naira and the impact of Nigeria’s worsening economic crisis. Arik Air operates two Airbus A330-300s, nine Boeing 737-700s, four Boeing 737-800s, one Bombardier CRJ-1000ER, four Bombardier CRJ-900s and four Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s


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