Scarcity of Aviation Fuel May Disrupt Flight Operations, Airline Operators Warn

Chinedu Eze

Many Nigerians travelling for the Christmas and the New Year holidays by air may be stranded as the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has warned that scarcity of aviation fuel, known as Jet A1, may disrupt flight operations.

A statement signed by AON Spokesman, Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, who is also the Chairman of United Nigeria Airlines and made available to THISDAY, noted that the scarcity of the product started few days ago.

The statement explained, “The AON wish to inform the general public of impending disruptions in scheduled flight operations due to the scarcity of aviation fuel, otherwise known as JET-A1, which reared its ugly head again in the past few days.

 “The scarcity will no doubt force airlines to reschedule flights leading to late operations and, or, cancellations.

 “This unintended development is a pain on airline operators and a stain on the industry, especially at this time of mass movement of people for the Christmas and New Year festivities.”

The AON also addressed the passengers, saying: “We do our utmost best to manage the situation and ensure safe flight operations, we plead the understanding of the traveling public in the circumstance.”

AON also called on the concerned authorities, including product importers and marketers to do their best to resolve this ugly situation so as to ease the stress it brings on the travelling public.

 “As airline operators, we remain committed to doing all that is necessary to ensure seamless services and safe air travels in our dear country,” the statement said.

A passenger who travelled from Port Harcourt to Lagos on Monday, December 19, 2022 told THISDAY that all the flights that arrived Port Harcourt International Airport, arrived at least one hour later than scheduled time and they cited fuel scarcity.

 “My flight was a 6:30 pm flight to Lagos, but I came to the airport four hours earlier. From the announcement from the public address system, many of the airlines picked their passengers about three hours, two hours late. My flight delayed for about one hour,” he said.

With disruptions from the Harmattan weather at many airports in the country, the scarcity of aviation fuel would exacerbate flight delays and disruptions.

These create uncertainty in air travellers who might not know what will happen when they arrive at the airport; whether their flights would be delayed due to the scarcity of aviation fuel or by bad weather.

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