…Regular flights may be delayed

Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has warned that passengers, and others needing services of airlines in Nigeria, face the risk of witnessing the aircrafts either disappear from the skies or the operators provide unpredictable services anytime from now.

The airline operators complain that the scarcity of aviation fuel [Jet A1] has made it impossible for them to know what would happen next with service delivery, especially during the yuletide.

In a statement issued in Abuja, a spokesman of the association, Mr. Obiora Okonkwo, said the operators have become helpless and unable to continue coping with the problem.

According to him, the scarcity of the aviation fuel is the reason behind the rescheduling of flights by airlines, “while flight cancellations may become the ultimate,” the spokesman said.

Also Read: Aviation Fuel Saga: Airline Operators Free to Import Fuel – NNPC

It is the second time since this year when the airline operators ran into ditch with the availability of the JET A1. Last May and July, the twin challenges of foreign exchange and the scarcity of JET A1 nearly forced the airlines to shut down.     

Okonkwo described the situation as a pain on airline operators and a stain on the industry, especially at this time of mass movement of people for the Christmas and New Year festivities.

“The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) wish to inform the public of impending disruptions in scheduled flight operations due to the scarcity of aviation fuel, otherwise known as JET-A1, which reared its ugly head again in the past few days.

“The scarcity will no doubt force airlines to reschedule flights leading to late operations and, or, cancellations,” the statement said.

Also Read: In 3 Days: Nigerian Airline Operators Plan to Quit the Skies Over High Cost of Aviation Fuel

He, however, promised that the operators would do their utmost best to manage the situation and ensure safe flight operations. He also pleaded for the understanding of the travelling public during this period.
The association spokesman also appealed to the relevant authorities, including product importers and marketers to do their best to resolve the situation so as to ease the stress it brings on the travelling public.

The operators, he emphasised, remained committed to doing all that is necessary to ensure seamless services and safe air travels in our dear country.

A fortnight ago, players in the aviation industry called the attention of the Nigerian government and the ministry of petroleum resources on the skyrocketing cost of JET A1, and consequences in the smooth operation of the sector.

Also Read: CBN Turns Down Airline Operators’ Request for FOREX over Aviation Fuel

Currently, a litre of aviation fuel goes for between N800 and N1000 per liter, up from about N200 per litre barely two years ago.

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