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Airline operators warn of flight disruptions nationwide




AIRLINE operators have warned the travelling public to expect flight disruptions nationwide due to the scarcity of aviation fuel.

In a statement signed by the Secretary of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Professor Obiora Okonkwo, the operators said the sector had been hit by an acute shortage of the fuel.

The AON told flight passengers to expect delays and cancellations from now on.

Earlier today, the management of Ibom Air released a statement acknowledging the impact of scarcity of aviation fuel on its operations and how it would affect the airline’s schedules.

The statement read, “This is to bring to your notice that the growing unavailability of aviation fuel has greatly impacted on our operations, leading to flight delays. At this point, it might now result in some flight cancellations.

“While this situation is unprecedented and disruptive to our value proposition, we assure you that it is as distressing to us as it is to you.”

The document, signed by the airline’s General Manager, Marketing and Communication, Aniekan Essienette, assured passengers that the airline would strive to operate its flight schedule as close to 100 per cent as possible, while looking forward to normalcy being restored early.

Ibom Air had, until now, a reputation for prompt flight schedules, with less delays.

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According to the 2021 annual report on international and domestic flight operations provided by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and forwarded to our correspondent, Ibom Air operated 9,551 flights, with 2,502 delayed flights. Its percentage of delayed and cancelled flights was the lowest at 26 per cent.

Top 10 airlines with highest percentage of delays in 2021. Credit: NCAA/Mined by Joseph Olaoluwa/ICIR

In its scorecard for last month, the airline reported a 79 per cent on-time performance and 58 cancelled flights, while delaying 199 flights out of the 1,023 scheduled flights it operated.

Ibom Air June 2022 scorecard.

The warning on possible and delayed flights is the second in a month. On July 15, 2022, both Dana Air and Ibom Air warned of flight cancellations due to the same problem.

At the moment, only eight airlines fly Nigeria’s airspace. They are Green Africa, Arik Air, Air Peace, Overland, Ibom Air, United Nigeria Airlines, Max Air and Azman.

Dana Air and Aero Contractors have already been grounded.

Author profile

Experienced Business reporter seeking the truth and upholding justice. Covered capital markets, aviation, maritime, road and rail, as well as economy. Email tips to jolaoluwa@icirnigeria.org. Follow on Twitter @theminentmuyiwa and on Instagram @Hollumuyiwah.

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