The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has urged passengers to expect more flight disruptions, as the scarcity of Aviation Turbine Kerosine (ATK) also known as aviation fuel (Jet A1) persists.
AON’s spokesman, Obiora Okonkwo, said in a statement on Monday that the persistent fuel scarcity is affecting the operations of air transport in the country and could lead to flight more rescheduling and cancellations.
He however said that the AON is working in alliance with product marketers, government and relevant stakeholders to ensure availability and proper pricing of the product in the country.
“The Airline Operators of Nigeria wish to alert the public of impending disruptions to scheduled flight operations of members of the association. This development is being forced on members by the growing scarcity of aviation fuel popular as Jet-Al.
“The scarcity is impacting negatively on the seamless conduct of air transport operations and would lead to flight rescheduling, and, or, cancellations.
“While pleading the understanding of the flying public in the face of this reality, we also promise to do all that is necessary, and within our powers, to restore normal flight schedules as soon as possible,” he said.
Last week, Daily Sun revealed that despite the meeting airlines had with the House of Representatives, oil marketers and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to ensure the availability of fuel at N480 for three months, the product is still not readily available to many airlines.
In March, flight operations were nearly grounded as all the scheduled operators could not access fuel and even when they could, it was purchased at over N500. However by last Friday, the AON said it would commence the suspension of flights on Monday, May 9, as it can no longer afford to purchase fuel at N700. The plan to suspend flights was later cancelled after intervention by the Ministry of Aviation and other industry stakeholders.
The fuel crisis did not abate as early last Thursday morning, Azman Air sent a message to its passengers apologising for the protracted delays and even cancellations of some of its flights, blaming it on the scarcity of aviation fuel.
The deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dana, Sukhjinder Mann, in a message to its passengers recently, also revealed that they are again witnessing the scarcity of aviation fuel across the airports in Nigeria which has caused flight delays and cancellations but that they have the commitment of their fuel partners to service our requirements
When Daily Sun contacted the spokesperson of Air Peace, Stanley Olisa, to clarify the situation of fuel supply, he said the airline was also finding it difficult to get fuel as the scarcity has persisted and has caused flight disruptions.
Also, the spokesperson of Arik Air, Ola Banji, also confirmed to Daily Sun that aviation fuel is not readily available.