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Jet A1 scarcity: Arik laments, mulls flights cuts

ANTHONY OMOH
Fuel scarcity that has pervaded the nation in the past week has started taking its toll on the aviation industry with Arik Air Nigeria’s largest carrier  declared that it would scale down flights following an estimated US$9 million loss due to lack of Jet A1.
The airline said the scarcity of aviation fuel has made it scale down 20 per cent of its operations out of over 100 flights daily and alternatively fly to neighbouring West and Central African countries to source to aviation fuel at high rate to sustain its operations.

Arik Air aircraft

Arik Air managing director, Mr Chris Ndulue however said the airline has put series of contingency plans in place to ensure it does not shut down its operations because of the scarcity of aviation fuel.
Ndulue, who spoke to reporters at the airline‘s headquarters in Lagos, said that Arik Air now flies to Ghana, Cameroon and Benin Republic to source for aviation fuel.
He said if the fuel situation does not improve the airline may not operate flights, as the alternate arrangement is costing the airline much money with the attendant inconveniences to passengers.
Ndulue said since last Thursday when the scarcity of aviation fuel intensified, Arik Air has over stretched its bounds to secure the over 800,000 litres needed for its daily operations.
He said, “For over one week now, aviation fuel scarcity has impacted negatively in our flight operations. It has become very bad that we have to scale down our flights gradually. In the last one week it has become increasingly difficult to sustain our operations owing largely to scarcity of aviation fuel.
Getting fuel to fly to our international destinations has become extremely expensive, because we have to source fuel from Kano, Cotonou, Cameroon and Accra to sustain our operations.
Because if the huge quantity of fuel averaging about 800,000 litres needed daily for our wide body aircraft it becoming very difficult.
If the situation does not improve in the coming days , we may not return to normal flight operations .
We appeal to passengers for their understanding on account of the inconveniences they are going through arising from the flight disruptions.
 By today, the disruption of flights has reached its lowest ebb forcing us to carry out only 20 per cent of our operations. With the attendant loss of over one million dollars daily the scarcity constitutes additional costs to our operations.”
He clarified that the short supply of aviation fuel to Arik Air was not borne out of indebtedness to fuel marketers saying that airlines make credit arrangement with their suppliers.
He said “Since last Thursday only one fuel marketer has been consistent with supply of the product . As an airline we have thrown contingency plans around and the marketers are cooperating because of the good relationship.”
 Meanwhile, passengers remain stranded at airports across the country as airlines are unable to get aviation fuel to fly their aircraft.
Domestic carriers were either cancelling flights or delaying them for some hours.

But, foreign carriers are not affected by the scarcity of aviation fuel as they source their fuel from their base or from neighbouring countries.

About anthony omoh

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I am a Journalist with a passion for developmental stories and nigerianflightdeck.com was born out of passion for reporting the travel, business and aviation sub-sector. This site is an expression of my ideals and creativity as a reporter and my discretion as a publisher. I am extremely content doing this and I am sure when you read my stories you'd understand that I touch people and that's why

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