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Arik Air denies unpaid fuel bills

14 September 2016, 21:27

Lagos - Nigeria's largest airline Arik Air said Wednesday it had resumed services after a 24-hour suspension that stranded thousands of passengers across Africa.

The carrier also denied speculation that it had not paid its fuel bills. It had earlier said Tuesday's disruption was linked to a delay in getting insurance renewal during the long weekend holidays linked to the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha.

"Members of the public and our customers are advised to discountenance the disparaging allegations, unsubstantiated and uninformed claims about the airline's inability to meet its financial obligations to aviation fuel marketers," a statement said.

"While the current scarcity of aviation fuel has impacted on the operations of airlines in the country, Arik Air is in good standing with its fuel suppliers and has been meeting its obligations to them."

Also read: Thousands stranded as third Arik Air grounded

A dire shortage of dollars, linked to the drop in the price of oil, which accounts for 70 percent of Nigeria's economy, has drastically reduced banks' liquidity and left the country's airlines unable to pay their bills.

Frequent sabotage by armed groups in the Delta region of which there was another incident Tuesday has also affected oil revenue.

Earlier this year Angola became Africa's largest oil producer, overtaking longtime leader Nigeria, which slipped into recession at the end of August.

Two other Nigerian carriers, Aero and First Nation, also suspended flights this month.

Arik Air offers flights to several destinations in West Africa and cities such as New York, London and Johannesburg.



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