Fuel scarcity cripples flight operations

Posted by News Express | 2 March 2016 | 2,670 times

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The biting fuel scarcity has led to the cancelation and delay of flights by domestic airline operators, leaving many passengers stranded at the airports, as they could not source adequate aviation fuel, known as Jet A1.

The passengers who were mostly affected were those travelling across the two major Nigerian cities, Abuja and Lagos who had to endure delayed flights and outright cancellations in some cases.

Spokesman of Nigeria’s largest carrier, Arik Air, Adebanji Ola, said the limited supply of Jet A1 across the country in the last few days has greatly hampered the airline’s flight operations.

“With over a 100 flights daily, this limited supply of aviation fuel has resulted, regrettably, in flight delays and sometimes outright cancellations.

We appeal to our valued passengers to bear with us at this time even as we remain committed to providing safe and comfortable flight experience.

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience our passengers may have suffered due to the fuel shortage,” Mr. Ola said in a statement.

Although there are indications that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and oil marketers are making concerted efforts to end the scarcity, it is projected that if the product remains unavailable, air operation would be grounded to a halt in the next few days, which would give rise to huge economic losses in the country.

However, some airlines like Air Peace and Dana Air said the fuel scarcity was yet to affect their operations and this was attributed to the fact that their daily flight frequency is relatively not high, so they do not need high volume of Jet A1.

An Arik Air source said at peak periods the airline requires about 1.2 million litres of fuel a day and 800,000 litres at low periods.

“Other airlines may need less than 30 per cent of that and therefore may have enough fuel to do all their flights,” the source said.

Dana Air spokesman, Kingsley Ezenwa, said the scarcity did not affect the airline’s flight and might not affect it in the next few days if the scarcity persists, adding that the management envisaged possible scarcity and made provision. (THISDAY)

•Photo shows Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos.


Source: News Express

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