This is just as the leadership of two unions: National Union of Air Transport Employees ( NUATE) and Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals ( ANAP) have said they were behind the airlines, agreeing that the conditions they operate were very unfriendly and there was huge disparity between landing cost of Jet A1 and selling cost of the product.
The ministry in a statement in reaction to Airline Operators’ statement last night that they would be suspending operations due to unfriendly operational cost including the astronomical rise of Jet A1 from N170/l to N700/l. READ ALSO: Airlines to ground aviation industry from May 9, over Jet fuel price hike, other operating costs
The statement signed by Special Assistant to the Honourable Minister on Public Affairs, James Odaudu, expressed worry over the current situation.
The statement read, ” The attention of the Honourable Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has been drawn to reports that the nation’s air transportation system will be disrupted as from Monday May 9th, 2022, following threats by airline operators to shut down operations as a result of rising cost of Jet A1, otherwise known as aviation fuel.
“As the Ministry charged with the management of the industry, we are greatly concerned about the difficulties being faced by the airline operators in the country in procuring aviation fuel which has resulted in spiraling costs in Air transportation in the immediate past.
“We also acknowledge that the airline operators are in the business to make profits, while servicing the very critical sector that is not only the preferred mode of transport for most Nigerians, but also the main international gateway to the nation.
“Unfortunately the issue of fuel supply is not within the purview of the Ministry and so the much it can do in the present situation is to engage with agencies, institutions and individuals in positions to provide succour to the airlines. This is already being done by the relevant team led by the Honourable Minister.
“While the efforts to assuage the situation are on, we wish to appeal to the airline operators, even in the difficult situation, to consider the multiplier effect of shutting down operations, on Nigerians and global travellers, in taking their business-informed decisions and actions.
“We also assure Nigerians, especially stakeholders in the sector, that the Buhari administration remains stoic in its commitment to the creation and sustenance of an environment that promotes the growth of the aviation industry where major players like the airlines can operate in a profitable and competitive market.
Meanwhile the unions, in an aside with NigerianFLIGHTDECK said they were perturbed by the astronomically high cost of Jet A1 stressing that the difference between landing cost and selling cost needs to be probed.
Ocheme Abba, General Secretary of NUATE called on the NNPC and all relevant authorities in charge of regulating aviation fuel to answer questions as it suspects sharp practices with regards the selling price of the product.
According to him, it is impossible for any Airline to o operate within the cost regime stressing that without airlines, there will be no aviation .