I received an SMS from Arik Air today announcing the suspension of its flight operations, effective today, Thursday, September 20.
The SMS read: "Due to persistent hostility of the Ministry of Aviation, and FAAN management, which has culminated in the use of FAAN staff to stop Arik Air operations and lock in checked-in passengers in Lagos this morning, Arik Air has no option than to suspend all domestic operations until further notice. This issue bothers on personal interests, and not payment of bills; since FAAN has been collecting their charges in advance since 18 months now. Arik Air regrets the inconveniences this disruption by FAAN, would cause you. Thank you for your much-valued support."
I quickly called a friend who was meant to travel from Lagos to Abuja at 8am today and he confirmed that he was stuck in the airport. He had bought the 1.30 pm Aero ticket but as at 2.30, they were yet to board.