Avi­a­tion fuel now N200/litre, tick­ets hike by 40%

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - From Ab­dul­la­teef Aliyu, La­gos

As scarcity of avi­a­tion fuel, known as Jet A1, bites harder, the price of the prod­uct has sky­rock­eted across the coun­try, find­ings by Daily Trust have shown.

La­gos, Abuja and Kano are the worst hit. It was learnt that in La­gos, Jet A1 is sell­ing for N180 while in Abuja it sells for over N192 a litre. It is over N200 in Kano, hav­ing jumped from N170 per litre.

How­ever, checks by Daily Trust in­di­cated that some air­lines, like MedView and Dana, have not can­celled their flights de­spite the pre­vail­ing dif­fi­culty in ac­cess­ing Jet A1 but pas­sen­gers con­tinue to ex­pe­ri­ence de­lays run­ning into hours.

On its part, Arik Air with over 120 daily flights and 500,000 litres fuel re­quire­ment on a daily ba­sis said the prob­lem had dis­rupted its nor­mal sched­ule.

Its spokesman, Ola Ade­banji, said the air­line “is work­ing on a longer term plan which will be fi­nal­ized in the com­ing months to mit­i­gate the sit­u­a­tion and to be in a bet­ter po­si­tion to ad­dress such sup­ply short­ages and de­lays.”

Other air­lines that are se­ri­ously af­fected are Air Peace, AZ­MAN and First Na­tion.

Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor ( Tech­ni­cal), Med-View Air­line, Engr. Look­man An­i­masahun, said the air­line had con­tin­ued to run nor­mal ser­vices de­spite the pre­vail­ing scarcity.

In an in­ter­view yesterday, he said, “There is a se­ri­ous short­age. Right now in La­gos Jet A1 is sell­ing for as much as N180 while in Abuja it sells for over N192 and in Kano the price is over N200.”

A spokesman of Dana Air, Kings­ley Ok­wudili, also cor­rob­o­rated this, say­ing how­ever that the air­line still ran nor­mal sched­ule with­out any can­cel­la­tion.

Mean­while, Arik Air an­nounced that it was grap­pling with flight sched­ule dis­rup­tions due to the se­vere scarcity of avi­a­tion fuel (Jet A1) across the coun­try.

Mean­while, mar­keters have blamed the de­vel­op­ment on scarce for­eign ex­change to bring in the prod­uct.

Spokesman of Mo­bil Nige­ria Lim­ited, one of the ma­jor sup­pli­ers of the prod­uct, Mr. Akin Fatunke, in an in­ter­view with Daily Trust said there was “No forex to bring in this prod­uct. Peo­ple are look­ing for for­eign ex­change as we speak now. This is what you should ex­pect in the cir­cum­stance that we find our­selves. This is not a new thing ac­tu­ally but we thought we would get a bit of re­spite but forex has not been so forth­com­ing as we ex­pected.”

An­other source in one of the avi­a­tion fuel sup­ply com­pa­nies who spoke to our cor­re­spon­dent on con­di­tion of anonymity also stated that the paucity of dol­lars was re­spon­si­ble for the Jet A1 scarcity.

Com­ment­ing, avi­a­tion veteran, Capt. Dele Ore, said the scarcity would con­tin­u­ally rear its ugly head with air­lines los­ing mil­lions of naira un­less Nige­ria be­gins lo­cal re­fin­ing of the prod­uct.

“If we don’t do that, it would prolong, and it is not go­ing to augur well for the air­lines. It erodes all the ef­forts they are mak­ing to break even.

“While we ap­pre­ci­ate the ef­forts of gov­ern­ment, we just must give pri­or­ity to some im­porters to bring in the prod­uct or we start lo­cal re­fin­ing of Jet A1,” he said.

Air fares in­crease

Many pas­sen­gers were stunned with the ex­or­bi­tant in­crease in air fares when they ap­proached tick­et­ing of­fi­cials at the air­line coun­ters.

Our cor­re­spon­dent who was at the Mur­tala Mo­hammed Air­port (MMA) on Tues­day af­ter­noon re­ports that many pas­sen­gers were un­able to pur­chase ticket as at 4 pm due to high prices.

Find­ings by Daily Trust showed that the prices in­creased be­tween N5000 to N8000 or 40 per­cent de­pend­ing on des­ti­na­tion and time of ticket pur­chase.

A Wakanow staff who spoke to Daily Trust at MMA2 said, “For in­stance, La­gos to Abuja which used to be N22,000 on Econ­omy is now 30,000. As I am talk­ing to you, no Arik Air flight is avail­able”.

Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor/Chief Ex­ec­u­tive, Med-View Air­lines, Al­haji Muneer Bankole, (2nd left) re­ceiv­ing the “Avi­a­tion Per­son­al­ity of the year 2016 Nige­ria, award (Bala­fon Award) at the 2nd Weizo travel and tour con­fer­ence and ex­hi­bi­tion in Ac­cra, Ghana from the Or­gan­iser, Mr. Ikechi Uko, (3rd left). Oth­ers from left, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Tech­ni­cal, Med-View Air­line, Engr. Look­man An­i­mashaun and far right, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment, Med-View Air­lines, Al­haji Isiaq Na’Al­lah.

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