Arik Air has announced that it would be suspending operations beginning Saturday, May 2, 2015 due to aviation fuel scarcity.
“We couldn’t depart for Dubai yesterday due to this scarcity. It is becoming impossible to continue.”
Chris Ndulue, Managing Director of Arik Air, disclosed at a press conference yesterday that the airline has been operating at 20% of its 120-flight daily schedule since last week due to non-availability of fuel.
Vague about when operations would resume, Ndulue said , “We will suspend flights operation from tomorrow (Saturday 2 April), until when aviation fuel becomes available.”
Arik Air has managed thus far through contingency arrangements and unscheduled stops for fuel. International flights have had to make stops in Ghana, Cotonou, and Togo to fuel before embarking overseas to the United States or London.
According to Arik Air official Chigozie Okereke, short supply has led to rationing of fuel by petroleum product marketers in Lagos, where the airline is headquartered. “In some other cases, flights were diverted to other airports outside Lagos where the product was readily available,” she said.
“The availability of aviation fuel is unfortunately out of our control.”
Arik also issued a press statement on Thursday apologizing to their customers, stating that the situation was out of their control.
We take this opportunity to apologize to our esteemed guests over the inconvenience they may have been experiencing due to flight delays and cancellations engendered by the general scarcity of aviation fuel (Jet A1) in Lagos and at other stations in Nigeria. The availability of aviation fuel is unfortunately out of our control.
As Nigeria’s biggest airline, the impact of the scarcity of Jet A1 is painfully most noticeable with our operations. On the average we require about 800,000 litres of Jet A1 daily to run smooth operations. With less than these volume available to us, we have had to fly to places like Cotonou, Accra and Kano to source for fuel. These trips cause delays, and when we cannot get the quantity of fuel required, we have had to cancel flights. We can only hope that the situation improves very soon.