The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has notified airlines of the withdrawal of its services to Osubi Airport, Warri, Gombe Airport and Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 (MMA2) over alleged indebtedness.
Henrietta Yakubu, FAAN’s general manager for corporate communications, said the agency had given notices to the operators of the airports and affected state governments before the decision was reached.
The notice is effective from midnight Sunday, December 9.
“We gave them one month notice to pay up their debts; we even advertised in newspapers informing them about the debts but they failed to comply. So, we are withdrawing security and fire service from the airports, without which planes cannot operate,” she said.
Confirming the incident, Adebanjo Ola, Arik Air’s communications manager, said the airline has suspended flights to Gombe and Warri airports.
“Consequently, Arik Air will be suspending its flights to Osubi Airport, Gombe Airport and move Port Harcourt flights out of MMA2 from Dec. 10, until further notice,” he said.
Ola advised Warri passengers to use Benin Airport as alternate while Gombe passengers are to use Bauchi Airport as alternate.
“All Arik Air flights to Port Harcourt Airport, Omagwa, will as from the same date operate from Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal One otherwise known as General Aviation Terminal (GAT).”
MMA2 is being operated by BiCourtney Aviation Services Limited, owned by Wale Babalakin.