Nigeria may experience serious disruption to flight operations due to the acute scarcity of aviation fuel, some operators warned yesterday
There was a fresh resurgence of aviation fuel scarcity on Saturday leading many flight delays and in a few instances cancellations.
However, the last is yet to be heard of the situation as it continues to worsen, causing flight disruptions across the country.
Checks by Daily Trust yesterday indicated that virtually all morning flights in Lagos were delayed by most airlines.
Arik Air which has over 100 flights per day had alerted passengers of the severity of Jet A1 scarcity, indicating that some flights might be cancelled.
The airlines said 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 had started taking its toll on it due to its large scale operations, with flights being delayed across the country and in some cases cancelled, especially for airports without airfield lighting.
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 aviation fuel, Arik Air announced further reduction in flights from yesterday, November 16, to cope with the fresh scarcity and reduce the unpleasant delays and cancellations which passengers have experienced in recent times.
The airline appealed for the understanding of its 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 said it would be sending text or e-mail messages to passengers.
An operator who spoke with Daily Trust in confidence said, “As I am talking to you, the problem is not abating and we hope the appropriate authorities would do something urgently to ameliorate the situation.
Efforts to speak with some marketers like Oando and Mobil who supply Jet A1 proved abortive but sources said the marketers were blaming the development on dollar scarcity which has stalled seamless importation of the product.
The operators urged government to take immediate measures to avert the current severe scarcity of the fuel known as Jet A1