DESPITE intersession by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, the House of Representatives and even the withdrawal of one of its members, the Airline Operators of Nigeria is still resolute on its stands to suspend operations come tomorrow May 9, 2022.
AON made this known in a statement, early on the 8th of May, 2022 signed by airline executives including, Alhaji (Dr.) Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina
President AON, Alhaji Shehu Wada – Executive Director, Max Air , Dr. Obiora Okonkwo Chairman, United Nigeria Airlines, Barr. Allen Onyema, Chairman, Air Peace Capt. Roy Ilegbodu – CEO, Arik Air; Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood – CEO, Aero Contractors, Alhaji Faisal Abdulmunaf – MD, Azman Air and Mr. Sukh Mann – Deputy CEO, Dana Air.
The statement reads,”In the light of frantic developments within the last twenty four hours since informing the general public of our decision to suspend operations in response to the astronomic and continuously rising cost of JetA1, the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) would like to state unequivocally that we stand firmly by our decision.
“Airline operators are patriotic citizens and we are doing all we can to protect the flying public contrary to what some subjective schools of thought might suggest. This is a collective sacrifice for the common interest of our nation.
Addressing the pull out by Ibom Air, “AON however regrets the unfortunate position taken by one of our members, Ibom Air, not to stand by the collective decision. While they may have their reasons for doing what they did, it is pertinent to note that they equally accepted in their statement that the JetA1 situation poses an “existential threat to the air transport industry in Nigeria” and that “the out-of-control situation is simply unsustainable.” READ ALSO: Ibom Air distances self from AON’s flight cessation, will continue operations Monday
“May we use this medium to clearly state that; “Airlines are not on strike. We are private investors who do not run our airlines with public funds to be able to continue to pay upfront in cash at N700 per litre for JetA1 which has increased our cost on daily basis to about 95%. This is totally unsustainable.
“And its consequences, if allowed to stay, will be borne by the passengers; which is what we are trying to prevent. READ ALSO: Airlines to ground aviation industry from May 9, over Jet fuel price hike, other operating costs
To this end therefore, we remain resolute in our resolve to find a lasting solution to this crucial problem of national emergency and once again use this medium to appeal to the conscience of our esteemed passengers for their understanding.”
Meanwhile, as of Saturday the 7th of May, Azman Air who’s Chairman, Alhaji (Dr.) Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina is the AON President, announced suspension of its flights with immediate effect.
In a statement across social media platforms titled:’Azman Air suspends operations’ the airline wrote:
“In compliance to the verdict of Airline Operators of Nigeria to
discontinue operations Nationwide starting from Monday May 9th,
2022; Azman Air Management will like to inform its Esteemed Passengers that all our domestic operations are now suspended till further notice.
“The situation leading to this difficult decision is truly a pathetic one and we pray there is a quick intervention to restore the sustainability of Air Transport in Nigeria.
We will like to kindly appeal to all our passengers to persevere with us during this tough times while we regret all inconveniencies