Nigerian airline AeroContractors yesterday announced the suspension of its scheduled flight operations with effect from September 1.
“We have temporarily suspended all our scheduled services with effect from 1st Sep 2016. All other services are still operational”, the airline said in a statement.
The airline’s staff has been placed on indefinite leave of absence.
Aero CEO, Captain Fola Akinkuotu, said this business decision is the result of the current economic situation in the country.
Nigeria has slipped into recession, with the latest growth figures showing the economy contracted 2.06% between April and June.
The country has now seen two consecutive quarters of declining growth, the usual definition of recession.
Its vital oil industry has been hit by weaker global prices, according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics.
In March 2013, industrial action grounded AeroContractor’s flights for 18 days, in a dispute over outsourcing and reduction in staff numbers. The strike, from 13–28 March, grounded Aero’s active fleet of nine aircraft, and was reported to have cost the airline at least N10bn (US$31.8M) in ticket sales.
After financial intervention, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), an arm of the Federal Government of Nigeria, held 60% of Aero, and in August 2013 it was reported that AMCON had taken over the management of the carrier.
The airline fleet consisted of Boeing 737s and Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft.