Airline operators are facing another bout of aviation fuel as they are unable to get required volume for optimal daily operations.
Scarcity appears to have begun at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos as marketers had resorted to rationing fuel. There has also been complaints that they were running out of reserves.
The looming implications are gradual return of flight delays and outright cancellation of scheduled services.
Meanwhile, Arik Air spokesperson, Banji Ola confirmed the scarcity. He said the situation began to manifest last week when major oil marketers started rationing supply to airlines.
“One of the marketers issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) on Saturday alerting of non-availability of the product in Lagos. Another said it was running out of the product in Lagos, with limited supplies in Port Harcourt and Abuja.”
“This development has started taking its toll on Arik Air, due to the airline’s large scale operations. Flights were delayed across the country and in some cases cancelled, especially at airports without airfield lighting.”
The airline operates the largest fleet-size of 28 aircraft, with about 120 flights daily. It has a daily fuel requirement of about 500,000 litres needed to power an average of 100 flights.
Ola however said Arik Air was most affected by the scarcity, the fourth of its kind in the year.
One of the airline’s flights to Johannesburg Tuesday had to be routed via Port Harcourt International Airport to get fuel for the journey.
“As a result of the worsening supply of aviation fuel, Arik Air has announced further reduction in flights from Wednesday, November 16. this is to cope with the fresh scarcity and reduce the unpleasant delays and cancellations which passengers have experienced in recent times.”
However, Oil marketers have allayed fears over the situation. They said the shortage was due to the late arrival of aviation fuel-laden ships at Lagos port.
The Jet-A1 is entirely imported into the country and subject to the fluctuations of the foreign exchange market.