Monday, 25 July 2016

Nigeria,s Aviation News Headlines for Monday July 25, 2016

JET-A1 Scarcity: Air Fares Remain High as Passengers Lament(DailyTrust)

There is no improvement in the availability of aviation fuel, known as Jet A1, which scarcity continues to disrupt domestic flights schedules, checks by Daily Trust have revealed.
At domestic wings of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, air fares remained exorbitantly high as airlines struggled to adjust to the fuel scarcity and the attendant price hike.

It was learnt that from the initial price of N115 per litre, aviation fuel now sold for as much as N200, per litre, in some places and went for between N170 and N180 in Lagos.
As a result of the scarcity, a one-hour flight from Lagos to Abuja, for instance, which fare used to be between N21,000 to N25,000, depending on the time of flight, now went for as high as N30,000. Check on Arik indicated that one-way trip fare from Lagos to

Abuja has jumped to about N33,000 on economy class.
A check on the website of one of the airlines indicated that the fare for one-way flight was N35,000. Some airlines charged as much as N38,000, said a ticketing official, yesterday.
A spokesman of the Dana Air, Kingsley Okwudili, yesterday, said that air fares only increased slightly, adding that the situation regarding fuel scarcity was yet to improve.
Frustrated passengers, meanwhile, have continued to experience flights delay and cancellation across the country. Speaking, a passenger said: “I am supposed to be on the First Nation flight from Lagos to Abuja for 11:30a.m. We have been at the airport for

over one hour to check in. No staff of First Nation has shown up at the airport and they have not said even a word to passengers.”
Another passenger, @KayodeAkintemi, in a post on his twitter page, said: “I have not seen any country in the world where people sit at airport for hours and airlines cancel flights due to no fuel #smh”.
Aviation fuel suppliers, however, blamed the development on scarcity of foreign exchange to import the product.



How to End Aviation Fuel Scarcity(Sun)

Depots run dry of Jet A1
In the last three weeks, the operations (and indeed survival) of the domestic air­line industry has come under severe threat following acute shortage of aviation fuel, popularly known as Jet A1.
Importers and marketers of the product had warned about the middle of March (this year) that the continuous depreciation of the naira and the scarcity of foreign ex­change (forex) could hurt the importation of Jet A1 for the aviation sector, imploring the
government to step in and make forex available to them.
Sadly, that warning was not heeded, and by last week, the marketers had written to inform airline owners that most depots had ran out of stock and that what was available could only be rationed to go round the air­lines for a couple of days.
Effect of fuel rationing
The airlines could not operate at optimal capacity. And over the weekend, it was re­ported that almost 70 per cent of scheduled commercial flights were rescheduled, while 30 per cent were cancelled outrightly. The cause of flights being rescheduled comes about
as airlines have to make use of one or two aircraft that they are able to fuel to ser­vice so many routes where more than four aircraft were usually deployed. This trend, had left most departure halls of Nigerian airports bursting with frustrated passen­gers. Those
who lack the patience to wait to be boarded whenever there was an available aircraft, opted to get their ticket refunds to go by road. In the wake of this entire cri­sis, passenger patronage has reportedly dropped by 55 per cent as more Nigerians are becoming
wary of flying. And that is perhaps coming at a time when the airlines need the volumes in passenger patronage to offset a rising cost of operation fuelled by high insurance premium, multiple taxes to airport and regulatory agencies, huge wage bills to staff,
high cost of aviation fuel and foreign exchange to do routine mainte­nances overseas.


Cabal behind aviation fuel scarcity – Capt. Ojikutu(Daily Trust)

By Retired Group Captain, John Ojikutu, a former Commandant of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos; Managing Director of Centurion Aviation Consultancy and Secretary of the Aviation Roundtable (ART) identifies corrupt practices as

responsible for the raging scarcity of aviation fuel which has been disrupting flight schedules of domestic airlines

For the past one week, domestic airlines have been experiencing scarcity of aviation fuel to power their aircraft. What would you say is responsible for this development?
Yes, the airlines are shouting, but the questions I will ask are: Are the marketers shouting? Are the marketers concerned? So what exactly is the problem? Is it a problem of scarcity or one of cost? If it is a problem of cost, is it that of the marketers or that of
airlines? Cost in what form? Is it that it is high or because the marketers are not getting foreign exchange? Airlines are talking about scarcity, but are the marketers complaining?

Marketers, too, have been complaining about difficult access to foreign exchange to import. Don’t you see their complaint as genuine?
How are those who are bringing in premium motor spirit (PMS), that is, petrol, sourcing their foreign exchange? Are the marketers who are bringing in PMS different from those bringing in Jet A1? What is the problem? If they can bring in PMS, why can’t they

bring in aviation fuel? What is the quantity of aviation fuel they will bring in compared to the quantity of PMS they are bringing in? We are consuming an average of 35 million litres per day of PMS while consuming only about 3m of aviation gas per day. So what

is the problem? If you can get money to bring in PMS you are selling at N145, what is the problem of getting foreign exchange to bring in aviation gas which is just 3m per day? There is something that is going on that I think government needs to look into.

Hajj: MaxAir To Airlift 31,000 Pilgrims To Saudi Arabia(Leadership)
The MaxAir airlift company has been allocated over 31,000 pilgrims from seven states for the 2016 hajj operation.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the launch of its newly acquired Boeing 747/400 series aeroplane at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, MAKIA, the company’s spokesman, Ibrahim Dahiru confirmed the allocation of the hajj seats to the company.
He pointed out that with the arrival of the two Boeing 747/400 aeroplane series, the company was ready to airlift all the pilgrims allocated.
Dahiru disclosed that the company was phasing out the used 747/300 series aeroplane to give way for the newly procured aeroplane.
Among the dignitaries at the launch were the governors of Kano and Jigawa states.

Private Jets & The Renewed Passenger Photo Identification Policy(Leadership)
As the minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah introduced inconsistent and incomprehensible policies. One of the failed regulations she proposed was passenger photo identification for all private jets operating within Nigeria.
The introduction of the policy was purposely designed to checkmate Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers state, and an adversary of President Jonathan Goodluck.
When River state aircraft, a Bombardier Global Express, which governor Amaechi had was grounded in Akure in 2013 by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency(NAMA), Rotimi Amaechi’s regular movement in other private jets needed to be monitored, hence
the promulgation of the  “Private jets passenger identification” ordinance.
Fortunately, due to public outcry, and Stella Oduah’s celebrated removal from office, the policy died a natural death.  Or so we thought.

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