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Unions Beg Amcon To Rescue Aero, As Airline Faces Extinction

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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SAN FRANCISCO, January 12, (THEWILL) – National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) have called on the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) to rescue Nigeria's oldest airline, Aero Contractors, and save the carrier from the brink of bankruptcy.

The plea was contained in a letter titled, “Aero Contractors Company Nigeria must not die – save our souls from the orchestrated plot to plunder/kill Aero Contractors,” written to the managing director of AMCON by the two workers' unions, dated January 4, 2016, signed by Olayinka Abioye, acting secretary general of NUATE, and Olurotimi Kehinde, secretary general for ATSSSAN.

“We are constrained to cry out to your good office, to rescue the Aero Contractors from the brink of bankruptcy consciously being manipulated by some powerful cabal of the company,” the letter read.

The duo of Abioye and Kehinde pleaded with AMCON managing director to use his good office to intervene or investigate these matters urgently, as they might be compelled to draw the attention of the Federal Government and other international partners on the avalanche of questionable deals being daily perpetrated by the Board and their collaborators in Aero management.

The union accused Oceanic Capital of using Aero's name to take a loan from the defunct Oceanic Bank and transferred same to Oceanic Capital, which went on to purchase some planes and leased them back to Aero through Oceanic Leasing Company.

“This can be confirmed on the tag printed on the plane clearly stating Oceanic Capital as the owner of the plane. It was this loan that almost killed Aero not CHC as been speculated.”

“This loan was allegedly used to purchase seven B737-500from Arizona at an average cost of s$12million each, but from the website of the firm from where the aircraft were purchased, they were going for about $4 million each.

“From records, a total of seven airplanes were purchased, but only six were received by Aero from Oceanic Capital on lease. Aero was paying a lease rate to Oceanic Capital monthly which almost wrecked the company and made CHC to withdraw as technical partner and took away all their equipment.”

The group further alleged that when Oceanic Bank was taken over by ECOBANK, all document relating to the deal were destroyed and the debt transferred to Aero

Aero is Nigeria's oldest airline set up in 1959, as a wholly owned subsidiary of Schreiner Airways B.V of the Netherlands.

Story by David Oputah