Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Arik Air and Unending Excuses

Building a brand is challenging but maintaining a brand standard and reputation is more challenging. Ask Arik Airline if you are still in doubt of that assertion.

In the last few years, one of the major airline in Nigeria that has continuously deal with reputation management issues is Arik Air. The airline has trended more on social media for the wrong reasons in recent time. From late take off to poor customer relations, Arik airline has had it all.

Arik Air in October celebrated its 10th year anniversary with the addition of a new Bombardier CRJ-900 aircraft to its fleet. But having make any significant improvement on services rendered to customers. Flight delay has been a major challenge on both local and international flight.

On Monday, 5th of December, Arik Air appealed to passengers who boarded the London- Lagos flight over the weekend and had their baggage left behind in London to exercise restraint and avoid damaging the airline’s properties as their baggage would be brought back to Lagos safely.


Commenting on the issue, Adebanji Ola, PR & Communications Manager of Arik Air, claimed the passengers were duly informed of the capacity restriction at the check-in desk at London Heathrow Airport and were advised of the possibility that some of their baggage will have to be sent on subsequent flights as per space availability.

Ola said: “Over the past three days, Arik Air has been using a smaller aircraft, a Boeing 737-800, to operate the Lagos-London Heathrow route due to maintenance on the wide-body A330-200 aircraft allocated on the route. One of the airline’s Airbus A330-200 aircraft had been hit by a handling company at John F Kennedy International Airport New York on Thursday, December 1, 2016 consequently triggering the B737-800 to be deployed on the Lagos-London route”.

According to him, in order to avoid cancellation of the Lagos-London Heathrow flights, an alternative B737-800 aircraft had to be allocated on the route to minimize the inconvenience to booked passengers. He added that passengers have been assured that all the backlog of their baggage would arrive in Lagos on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 6 and 7, 2016 respectively.

As if that was not enough, passengers going to Abuja in Lagos also had a distasteful experience. Their flight scheduled for morning take-off was delayed till evening with different excuses.

Some passengers who spoke to BrandArena expressed their displeasure over the delay, charging the airline to improve on its services.

"I'm not happy about these delays. In the last few weeks, I have experienced this setback from Lagos to Abuja. I think Arik really need to improve on their operations", said Mrs. Modupe.

Mr. Niyi Ojemuyiwa also lamented that the delay does not just cost him his time but also extra money due to need to reschedule pf his appointment in Abuja. "I had to reschedule my plan due to the flimsy excuses by Arik Air. I just wonder when this will end. I think the Federal Government is not doing enough to address issues of this nature at all; that is why most of this airlines have always taken us for a ride", he said.

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