An Arik Air’s Airbus A330-200 plane has been impounded in Johannesburg, South Africa for allegedly defaulting on lease agreement payments on the airplane.
Investigation by our correspondent showed that the plane was impounded on Tuesday by a Dublin-based leasing firm, Amentum Capital.
According to sources in Johannesburg, the plane, which carried passengers from Lagos to the Oliver R. Tambo Airport on Monday night, was impounded shortly after it landed.
Consequently, the airline could not airlift its passengers from Johannesburg to Lagos on Tuesday morning as it had to cancel the flight.
Arik, in an initial statement, confirmed that the flight was cancelled, because of “unexpected service provision oversight.”
A top source at the carrier, who disclosed that the plane was still being held at the Safair Hangars in Johannesburg, said that the plane was impounded and subsequently grounded due to “outstanding lease payments.”
But the Managing Director, Arik Air, Mr. Chris Ndulue, said, “It was not a case of impounding; there was an issue arising between us and the lessor of the aircraft, it has nothing to do with payment of lease rentals, because lease rentals are up to date. But we needed to get approvals from the Civil Aviation Authority for payment of another payment called the ‘maintenance reserve.’ The approval did not come until the incident happened.
“One of the things is that for you to make remittances for lease of aircraft, you will need to get the approval of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority before the Central Bank of Nigeria will allow it.”