ARIK Air has this morning alerted passengers of worsening aviation fuel (JET A1) scarcity across the country, despite declarations by Minister of State (Aviation) last Saturday that the fuel challenges been witnessed has abated.
According to the airline which uses the largest amount of fuel in the country because of the volume of its flights daily, the aviation fuel scarcity started manifesting last week when major oil marketers began to ration supply of the product to airlines.
One of the marketers, Arik said in its statement, issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) on Saturday alerting of non-availability of the product in Lagos. Another marketer said it was running out of product in Lagos with limited supplies in Port Harcourt and Abuja.
The airline further said the development has started taking its toll on it due to the it’s large scale operations, with flights being delayed across the country and in some cases cancelled especially for airports without airfield lighting.
With a daily fuel need of about 500,000 litres and an average of over 100 daily flights, Arik Air is mostly affected by this scarcity which is the fourth this year alone. One of the airline’s flights to Johannesburg on Tuesday had to be routed via Port Harcourt to pick up fuel.
As a result of the worsening supply situation of the aviation fuel, Arik Air has announced further reduction in flights from Wednesday, November 16 to cope with the fresh scarcity, and reduce the unpleasant delays and cancellations which passengers have experienced in recent times.
It has therefore appealed for the understanding of its valued customers whose flights are likely to be affected by the scarcity and scaling down of operations.
Where flights are to be delayed or cancelled as a result of the scarcity, Arik Air will be sending text or email messages to passengers.
The minister had on Saturday stated that in no distant time the Jet A1 product will be refined from Kaduna and Port Harcourt and this move will aid airlines to maintain their schedules and keep their operating cost down a bit