The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has advised domestic airlines to scale down their flight operations following the lingering scarcity of Jet A1, popularly called aviation fuel.
The Acting General Manager Public Relations in NCAA, Mr Sam Adurogboye, gave the advice on Wednesday in Lagos.
Aviation fuel was currently being bought at exorbitant prices ranging from N160 to N200 per litre by the airlines due to scarcity of the product.
Adurogboye said that NCAA was concerned that passengers were not made to suffer unduly because of the scarcity of aviation fuel.
“Our directive earlier when this situation arose is that airlines should cut down their operations to services they are able to procure fuel for.
“Where they have sold tickets, then they contact the passengers ahead of time to avoid their coming to the airport and be stranded,’’ he added.
However, Arik Air in a statement by its Communications Manager, Mr Ola Adebanji, said marketers had assured the airlines that the situation would improve this week as they were expecting delivery of additional stock.
The statement identified supply and infrastructural challenges of the marketers as some of the key factors responsible for the epileptic supply of aviation fuel.
“At the root of the fuel supply crisis is low stock due to the inability of marketers to source for the foreign exchange to import more Jet A1 fuel.
“There is also distribution challenge as the discharging of vessels bringing Jet A1 and other petroleum products are done in the same jetty and loading various trucks for distribution to cities like Kano or Abuja takes considerable effort and time.
“The situation in the north is even more difficult since the product takes longer to be delivered due to the trucking distance.
“Oil marketers have also resorted to trucking of aviation fuel to the airports because hydrants are not consistently available at the airports,’’ it said.