As customers and passengers of Arik Air continue to lament the disruptions brought to their travel plan on Monday, the airline has said that the picketing operation by aviation unions was illegal.
However, the airline in a statement on Monday apologised to its customers over the disruption.
Adebanji Ola, Manager, Communications of Arik Air, made the apology in a statement in Lagos Monday evening.
Arik air operations were shut down by the aviation unions over alleged non-payment of staff salaries since April.
The unions alleged that the company neglected them after placing many of the workforce on compulsory leave and other anti-labour practices.
The unions included the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN).
In its statement on Monday, Arik air noted that the picketing was done without the approval of the leadership of the unions.
“We wish to place on record that the picketing was illegal and has no backing of the aviation unions whose leadership have embraced dialogue by attending mediatory meetings called by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA),” the statement said.
“The management strongly condemns this action and once again assures all stakeholders of a safe and conducive working environment.
“We shall also protect the interest of the flying public for a safe, friendly and on time travelling experience.
“We are already working with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ministry of Aviation and NCAA to resolve all pending issues with the unions and a section of the staff.
“We are working to bring the situation under control and the public will be advised accordingly,” he said.