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