Aviation Fuel Scarcity, Price Hike Disrupt Flights Nationwide


Serious scarcity and high cost of aviation fuel have forced domestic carriers have to begin flight delays and cancellation.

Aviation experts have said the development will lead to further flight disruptions because nobody knows when the scarcity will abate.

An oil marketer, who spoke in confidence with The Nation correspondent, noted that the recent price of crude, globally, is having huge negative impact on the local market.

He said airlines grappling to efficiently run and clear their credit on time would get the product faster than airlines purchasing the product on credit.

For the second day running, domestic airlines said aviation fuel was selling between ?590 and ?625 per litre.

In a statement on the scarcity of jet fuel, Air Peace said it and other airlines had been facing scarcity of the product.

The airline said it had tried to minimise the effect of the situation on its passengers’ travel plans but the scarcity was having serious impact on its operations.

Arik Air said the same thing, which compelled the airline to delay all of its March 8 flights across networks while other flights were cancelled.

They both explained that passengers might experience of flight disruptions in the coming days until the situation improves.

Chief Executive Officer and Executive Secretary of Major Oil Marketers, Mr. Clement Isong, attributed the situation to the rise of crude oil price in the international market, access to foreign exchange in Nigeria as well as better payment terms for marketers.

Zeroing in on domestic airlines’ inability to get the product and why it was costly, he said: “Different airlines have different payment history. Some airlines make payment on time, but there are some that have a history of owing. The airlines that pay up on time on their credit are likely to receive favourable terms from their suppliers against airlines that owe.

“Some airlines will do better than others because they are efficiently run, while airlines that are not managed well will struggle. Marketers importing this product are not hoarding aviation fuel. They want to sell. But, remember: the sale is not complete until the money is collected.”

Also, the House of Representatives has summoned the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Airline Operators of Nigeria and marketers of aviation fuel to a meeting to address rising cost of aviation fuel in the country.

This followed a motion by the Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji, on the need to probe the sudden scarcity and high cost of aviation fuel, which he said had created an essential threat to airline operations.

Moving the motion, Nnaji said the current crisis in Eastern Europe has created so much global tension and raised the cost of crude oil to over $125 per barrel in the international market, spiking the prices of all petroleum products.

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