Nigerian airlines have attributed flight delays and disruptions to their inability to source aviation fuel, known as Jet A1 on demand.
In letters addressed to their passengers, some of the airlines explained that following the cancellation of the plan to shut down flight operations on May 9, 2022, there had been marked delays in the supply of aviation fuel to the airports by oil marketers.
Since February this year when oil marketers increased aviation fuel price from N190 per litre to N400 per litre and in March when the airlines contested the second increase of prices, flight operations have suffered hiccups.
Major airline operator, Dana Air was the first to complain of flight disruptions due to late supply of products and last weekend, THISDAY learnt that Air Peace flight from Asaba was delayed due to late supply of the product.
Similarly on Thursday, 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 airline said though there had been promising prospects to address the problem, it became important to advice the general public that until there was resolution, disruption of flights might be unavoidable.
“Our obligation at Azman Air to deliver hassle free services to our esteemed customers is recently being hindered by incessant challenges facing the Nigerian aviation sector due to jet A1 price hike and scarcity.
“The paucity of this product has labelled our services with protracted delays and even cancellations thereby subjecting our customers to unintended hardships in getting to their destinations.
“Though there has been promising prospects to overturn this obstacle, it is important to advice the general public that until there is resolution, disruption of flights may be unavoidable. We totally understand the effect these disruptions poses on our passengers and we can only appeal and crave your understanding while we continue to navigate the situation,” Azman said.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dana, Sukhjinder Mann, in a message to its passengers recently, also revealed that the airlines were again witnessing the scarcity of aviation fuel across the airports in Nigeria which has caused flight delays and cancellations but that they have thXXX commitment of their fuel partners to meet their requirements.
“Unfortunately, we are again witnessing the scarcity of Jet A1 fuel across the airports in Nigeria, which has in some cases, caused recent flight delays. Our commitment towards offering a convenient and reliable schedule has never been in doubt and has always been centered on setting new standards in customer experience and redefining air travel and this communication is to reassure you that we have the commitment of our fuel partners to service our requirements,” Mann said.
Spokesman of Air Peace, Stanley Olisa said the airline was also finding it difficult to get fuel as the scarcity persisted and was causing flight disruptions.
The spokesperson of Air Air, Ola Banji, also confirmed that aviation fuel was not readily available, so airlines had to wait for it, which causes delays.
But the Managing Director of Cleanserve, Chris Ndulue, said there was global petroleum product supply disruption due to the Russua-Ukraine crisis, noting that the scarcity was not peculiar to Nigeria, saying countries such as the UK were also experiencing same.
He denied claims by the AON that fuel was now being sold for N700, insisting that the price was between N540 and 580. He said the intervention of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the importation of aviation fuel was unnecessary and advised that the Central Bank of Nigeria should make forex available to marketers.