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Arik Air Nigeria Domestic Flights Halted for Second Day by Union

Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Arik Airlines Ltd., Nigeria’s largest flight operator, halted domestic flights for a second day after a union under the West Africa nation’s airports authority stopped its planes from flying yesterday in Lagos, the commercial capital.

Arik Airline must pay the 18 billion naira ($114 million) for the use of airport facilities it owes, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria Director-General George Uriesi said on state-owned Radio Nigeria.

“I pay every time I fly, why won’t they pay for my services?” he said. “They cannot continue to operate on a model that they won’t pay us.”

The airline, which operates 23 aircraft, flies at least three times weekly to London and New York. Its international operations aren’t affected by the suspension, Arik Air said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

The Lagos-based airline appealed to the government for “urgent intervention” so it can resume its domestic operations. Passengers will be re-booked on other flights when operations resume, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elisha Bala-Gbogbo in Abuja at ebalagbogbo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dulue Mbachu at dmbachu@bloomberg.net

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