ONE of the major factors affecting profitability and smooth running of airline business in Nigeria is the availability or not of Jet A1 also known as aviation fuel and according to Firstnation Airways this recurrent scarcity of the product is due to its diversion to serve as household kerosene.Director, Flight Operations, First Nation Airways, Capt Chimara Imediegwu made this known at a press briefing yesterday stated that most homes now use aviation fuel in place of kerosene as aviation fuel is now cheaper than kerosene.
As of today, a litre of Jet A1 sells for between N195 and N200 while a litre of kerosene goes for N450 thus the need to use aviation fuel to substitute for kerosene basically because jet fuel is kerosene only more refined with some chemicals.
The Firstnation DFO however explained that the scarcity of aviation fuel would end when government get it right with the Kaduna refinery that would be dedicated to solely the refining of aviation fuel.
Capt. Imediegwu who further explained the reason for their suspension on August 17 said it was due to some snags developed by its aircraft which affected its operations, adding that it grounded operations voluntarily with the knowledge of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
He said, “We actually had just received one of them from a heavy maintenance early this year while preparing for the departure of the next for maintenance, the former and rejuvenated ship developed a fault. This called for immediate action with the manufacturer’s specialists. We arrived at a decision to get them to come in and do a final job on it .The authority was constantly kept in the know, formally.”
“We carried out a troubleshooting on the aircraft and we were not satisfied with its performance. So, we decided to ground our operations pending the time when the aircraft would be in perfect condition. The manufacturers’ engineers would be in the country either by 8th or 9th this month. Immediately they arrive, they would effect repairs on the aircraft and I can assure you that we will return to flight operations”