Scarcity of aviation fuel, otherwise known as Jet A – 1 is taking a huge toll on domestic flight operations forcing major carrier Arik Air to announce flight reduction.
Flight reduction, the airline said is an intervention measure taken to cope with the situation.
Mr. Adebanji Ola, airline’s spokesman, said in a statement that aviation fuel scarcity started manifesting last week when major oil marketers began to ration the supply of the product to airlines.
Ola said Arik with its daily need of about 500,000 litres to operate 100 daily flights is most affected by the current scarcity.
He said the carrier had to re-route one of its flights to Port Harcourt to pick fuel.
Ola said: “With a daily fuel need of about 500,000 litres and an average of over 100 daily flights, Arik Air is mostly affected by this scarcity which is the fourth this year alone. One of the airline’s flights to Johannesburg on Tuesday had to be routed via Port Harcourt to pick up fuel.
“As a result of the worsening supply situation of the aviation fuel, Arik Air has announced further reduction in flights from Wednesday, November 16 , 2016 to cope with the fresh scarcity, and reduce the unpleasant delays and cancellations which passengers have experienced in recent times.”
He added: “One of the marketers issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) on Saturday alerting of non-availability of the product in Lagos. Another marketer said it was running out of 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, with flights being delayed across the country and in some cases cancelled especially for airports without airfield lighting.
The airline therefore appealed for the understanding of its customers whose flights are likely to be affected by the scarcity and scaling down of operations.
“Where flights are to be delayed or cancelled as a result of the scarcity, Arik Air will be sending text or email messages to passengers,” said Ola.