Nigerian airlines will face severe disruptions and flight cancellations over the scarcity of JetA1 fuel, the Airline Operators of Nigeria have said.
The airline operators disclosed this in a notice signed by its spokesperson, Obiora Okonkwo, titled ‘Public notice: Disruptions in-flight operations’.
The development comes a week after the AON members stopped earlier plans to embark on an indefinite strike from Monday, May 9, 2022, to give room for negotiation with the federal government.
The Association said, “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.”
Airline operators said they were buying fuel at N190 per liter in January but by March, it rose to N440 before hitting N700 in May.
Allen Onyema, the Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace when explaining the situation said the unit cost per seat of an aircraft now is about N120,000. At this cost, the least seat will be N150,000.
AON said, “However, the association and its members are working very hard, and in alliance with product marketers, government and relevant stakeholders, to ensure availability and proper pricing of aviation fuel in the country.
“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.”
The Speaker House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, had while intervening last week said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has agreed to provide aviation fuel at N480.
Gbajabiamila said, “In the long term, you commence the process of applying for your own license to be able to import your own jet fuel. So that it will be removed, whether it is middlemen or frontmen or whatever. You will know the landing cost to assist you in your business,”
“There is the benevolence of the CBN governor that six million liters are available now at N480. You will get an allocation in the next three months through the companies (marketers) that you have nominated so that you would not come back and say jet fuel is now a certain amount and it is the fault of the NNPC. You have nominated those people that are selling to you.”