Government intervention fails as Air Peace, Arik and five others insist flight be suspended

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Despite appeal from the Federal Government, Air Peace, Arik Air and some other members of the Air Operators of Nigeria (AON) are moving forward with their plan to shut down airline operations on Monday May 9 – a decision which was trail with mixed reactions.

Airline operators said they could not continue to operate with the current cost of doing business in the country, which has risen 95% due to the price of aviation oil, JetA1, reaching N700 per liter from N190 NOT.

Ripples Nigeria reported two days ago that operators said they could no longer meet operating costs, with Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika saying the issue of fuel supply was not of concern. is the responsibility of the ministry, but of the airlines. must consider the ripple effect before suspending operations.

While Ibom Air has waived the suspension of flights, other airlines are moving forward, reflecting that government intervention has failed to end the suspension.

In a statement on Sunday, the airline operators said the halt in operations was not a strike, but a suspension due to current market realities.

Recall that the industry had decided to increase the price of air tickets in March 2022, but the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) warned against this increase.

“In light of the frantic developments over the last twenty-four hours since the general public was informed of our decision to suspend operations in response to the astronomical and ever-increasing cost of JetA1, Air Operators of Nigeria (AON) wish unequivocally declare that we stand firmly by our decision,” the statement read.

READ ALSO: Ibom Air pulls out of planned airline strike as FG begs operators

This was said in the circular issued jointly by the Executive Director of Max Air, Shehu Wada, CEO of Arik Air, Roy Ilegbodu, Deputy Managing Director, Dana Air, Sukh Mann, Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, Azman Air MD, Faisal Abdulmunaf, United Nigeria Airlines Chairman Obiora Okonkwo and Aero Contractors CEO Abdullahi Mahmood.

They described the current cost of operation as spiraling out of control, saying the situation cannot be sustained: “Airline operators are patriotic citizens and we are doing everything we can to protect the flying public contrary to what some subjective schools of thought might suggest. . It is a collective sacrifice for the common interest of our nation.

“(AON) regrets the unfortunate position taken by one of our members, Ibom Air, to not respect the collective decision. While they may have their reasons for doing what they did, it is relevant to note that they also accepted in their statement that the situation of JetA1 poses an “existential threat to the airline industry in Nigeria” and that the “uncontrollable situation is simply unsustainable.

“Can we use this medium to make that clear; The airlines are not on strike. We are private investors who do not run our airlines with public funds so that we can continue to pay cash up front at 700 naira per liter for JetA1, which has increased our daily costs by around 95%.

“It is completely unsustainable. And its consequences, if allowed to remain, will be borne by passengers; that is what we are trying to prevent.

“To that end, we therefore remain committed to finding a lasting solution to this critical issue of national emergency and are once again using this means to appeal to the consciences of our esteemed passengers for their understanding.” the joint statement said.

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