A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Fuel scarcity: Airlines suspend more domestic flights

26 May 2015, Lagos – More airlines on Monday suspended flight operations across the country as a result of the scarcity of aviation fuel, otherwise known as Jet-A1.

It was gathered that some of the airlines that suspended their operations on Monday actually tried to meet the demands of their customers by flying them to their respective destinations on Saturday and Sunday.

But as the scarcity of the product continued on Monday, they had to halt flight services for lack of fuel to run their aircraft.

At the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, our correspondent observed that airlines, including Air Peace, Dana Air and Discovery Air joined other carriers that earlier suspended flight operations.

Sunday PUNCH had reported how the country’s two largest carriers, Arik Air and Aero Contractors, had suspended their flights on Saturday as a result of the scarcity of aviation fuel.

The two carriers did not return to full operations on Monday as they both operated far below their usual daily flight services.

In fact, Arik Air which operates an average of 120 domestic flights daily, recorded only 17 as of 4.30pm when our correspondent checked all domestic airlines’ flight status from the Federal Ministry of Aviation.

Sources close to Arik confided in our reporter that the airline had lost huge revenue as a result of the scarcity and had yet to commence full operations because the situation was still not normal.

“The situation has not improved and it will take time to get back to normal despite the fact that the oil workers’ unions have suspended their strike. So, until then, we will continue to run skeletal operations,” the official said.

When contacted, a senior official of Aero Contractors stated that he was not aware if the airline had commenced operations after it announced a halt to daily flight services across the country on Saturday.

The airline had stated in a statement made available to our correspondent, “Due to the general scarcity of aviation fuel (Jet-A1) in the country, the airline will not be able to operate over 80 per cent of her domestic flights as scheduled.

“In the last few weeks, the supply of aviation fuel has been very irregular, which has compelled the airline to cancel some flights. We apologise to our esteemed customers for the inconvenience they may have been experiencing due to flight delays and cancellations caused by the scarcity of aviation fuel.”

The airline management added that it was unsure about some future flights and urged prospective travellers on Aero to confirm their trips online.

It stated, “We urge our customers to always check our website or contact the call centre agent to affirm if their scheduled flights will operate.”


– Punch

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