A fresh crisis has hit Arik Air over a strike action embarked upon by pilots of the airline.
The development has forced the airline to take a drastic action by dismissing no fewer than eight local pilots.
The management of the airline (In Receivership) confirmed that it dismissed several pilots for “gross acts of indiscipline.”
Their dismissal which was announced today took effect on Tuesday.
According to a statement by the management, the affected Pilots were dismissed for embarking on a strike action without recourse to lay down procedures.
The statement said, “The Pilots did not serve a strike notice in accordance with labour laws. They neither submitted any issue of dispute to the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), their umbrella union nor did they submit any statement of demands to the management of the company.
“There were also no ongoing discussions between the management and the Pilots on any unresolved labour issues. Their actions were spontaneous and callous.
“Arik Air finds it rather treacherous of the Pilots to contemplate a strike action at this Yuletide season which is the peak period for airlines all over the world. They peddle for naught the reputation and financial health of the company.
“It is instructive to note that the management of the airline has of late had very fruitful discussions with relevant aviation unions including the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), on conditions of service for all employees. This has led to the signing of a robust condition of service and redundancy benefits for staff.
“While great efforts have been made to minimize the impact of the illegal strike action, some fully booked flights have had to be canceled. Arik Air regrets the inconvenience caused by this action and is doing everything in its powers to minimize the impact and discomfort to its esteemed customers.”
Daily Trust learnt that the local Pilots had requested to meet with the Receiver Manager of the airline, Mr. Kamilu Omokide, to discuss issues that have to do with “safety concerns”.
After the failed attempt to meet him, the Pilots issued a notice to embark on strike.
According to them, prior notice was given “in order to avoid any flight disruption.”
The concerns raised by the unions, include morale, remuneration and the current safety issues in existence.