British Airways Operator Comair Resumes Flights in South Africa - BLOOMBERG
(Bloomberg) -- South African airline group Comair Ltd. resumed flights after being given the all clear by the country’s Civil Aviation Authority, which was investigating a series of incidents over concerns about safety.
The decision allows the local operator of British Airways and owner of the low-cost Kulula carrier to restart services on Thursday after a five-day grounding, restoring about 40% of South Africa’s air capacity, Comair said in a statement.
The episode wreaked havoc at major airports in Johannesburg and Cape Town as passengers scrambled for limited alternative flights as ticket prices began to soar. Comair Chief Executive Officer Glenn Orsmond faced calls to resign from the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, which held protests outside the company’s head office.
Numsa reiterated calls for Orsmond to be removed after services were resumed, saying his “extreme cost-cutting measures” were behind the crisis.
The CAA concluded an evaluation of evidence provided by Comair regarding the safety concerns on Wednesday evening, according to a separate statement. While details of the events that led to the suspension haven’t been disclosed, local media such as News24 have reported of incidents such as a British Airways flight making an emergency landing after the landing gear failed to retract.
Comair operates a fleet of 26 Boeing Co. jets, mostly 737-800s, according to the website. The airline went into administration during the Covid-19 crisis, which grounded much of the world’s aircraft fleet.
FAAN bans Immigration officers for extorting 14-year-old traveller - DAILY POST
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has banned two Immigration officers for extorting a 14-year-old passenger at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
The mother of the teenager, identified as Imoteda, had on Twitter raised the alarm that her child was extorted and left with no money to travel abroad.
She had said, “My 14-year-old daughter, fourteen, is travelling by herself.
“Immigration took all her money before they let her go. They took money from a 14-year-old. Didn’t even leave her with 1kobo or 1 thousand naira so she can buy food while she waits. How wicked?
“I am so angry. A child!!!!!!! Why are you stealing money from a child! And you took all of it and didn’t let her call her mother?!!!
“Whoever was involved, you will die in penury! Your joy will turn to ashes! You will plant seeds and harvest thorns that will tear your flesh.”
Giving an update on the case on Friday, FAAN in a statement on its Twitter page said the officers have refunded the money and their duty cards have been withdrawn.
“With respect to the case of a 14year old girl extorted by two Immigration officers at the Lagos Airport, FAAN’s Aviation Security team, after reviewing the CCTV footage was able to identify the culprits.
“Consequently, the officers were made to refund the exact amount collected from the passenger. Their On Duty Cards were withdrawn permanently and they have been banned from working in any Nigerian Airports.
“We would like to commend the mother of the child, who escalated the case and assisted immensely in the course of our investigation,” it added.
FG’s Continuous Enforcement of PCR Tests Worries Nigerian Air Travellers, As Nations Relax COVID-19 Restrictions - THISDAY
BY Chinedu Eze
The continuous enforcement of PCR tests for Nigerian air travellers by the federal government, has become a source of concern for air travellers from Nigeria.
The concern is coming at a time when many countries including the US, UK and Saudi Arabia have relaxed COVID-19 restrictions, including dropping PCR test for travelling public. In Nigeria, government is still fully enforcing strict coronavirus protocol with compulsory PCR test that cost about N50, 000 in Lagos.
Many international travellers and foreign airline officials in Nigeria have cried out to government, saying the continued enforcement of strict COVID-19 test is a rip-off, as there is global drop in coronavirus cases and Nigeria records relatively very low cases at the worst of times.
Also the price of PCR test has not reduced but still about N45, 000 to N60, 000, depending on the lab recommended by officials of Port Health who are in charge of screening passengers who are travelling or arriving Nigeria.
Country Manager of one of the major international airlines told THISDAY on Wednesday that, “Government should remove that PCR test so that Nigerians can travel feely. They are just collecting money for nothing. Allow people to travel and let air travel come back to normal. We are not people oriented in this country.”
THISDAY investigation revealed that the Port Health officials and others involved in the interface with passengers over Coronavirus protocol do not care about whether passengers are vaccinated or not and there are verifiable documentation of Nigerians travelling out of the country who are fully vaccinated in addition to taking the booster but these officials do not even look at the vaccination card, but they insist that air travellers must pay for PCR test if they are arriving the country or be administered with PCR test while leaving the country.
THISDAY accessed the arrival section of the terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and noticed that the major concern of the officials who confront passengers on arrival was for them to pay for the PCR test, and once paid they do not border with the passengers.
THISDAY monitored a passenger who arrived the country two weeks ago and he said after the payment at the airport nobody called him; nobody asked about anything; whether he did the test or not.
“They know that nothing is happening. There is no COVID-19 in the country any more and that’s why they are not bordered,” he said.
But a passenger travelling to UK told THISDAY that she did not undergo PCR test because she was fully vaccinated and UK did not require PCR test for fully vaccinated passengers.
Also Turkey had directed that anybody travelling to Turkey who is fully vaccinated did not need PCR test, but anyone coming back to Nigeria is made to pay for PCR test.
For about one month Nigeria has stopped giving COVID-19 case updates, which indicates that existing cases are negligible.
In addition to scrapping PRC test, United Kingdom has announced that it would remove the remaining COVID-19 international travel restrictions for all passengers from 4:00 am Friday 18 March.
According to a statement from the United Kingdom, “As one of the first major economies to remove all its remaining COVID-19 travel restrictions, this is a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector. From 4am Friday 18 March, all COVID-19 travel restrictions will be lifted, including the passenger locator form (PLF) for arrivals into UK, as well as all tests for passengers who do not qualify as vaccinated. This change, therefore, removes the need for unvaccinated passengers to take a pre-departure test and a day 2 arrival test.”
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has also scrapped most of the COVID-19 restrictions and has ended social distancing in the two holy Mosques and all mosques in the Kingdom, but has continued to make wearing of facemasks mandatory.
Saudi Arabia said it no longer require travellers to undergo mandatory COVID-19 quarantine upon arrival to the Kingdom and passengers would also no longer need to provide a PCR test upon their arrival.
In Europe, France has lifted COVID-19 passport requirement for access to most venues and events from 14 March. Greece is scrapping Passenger Locator Forms from 15 March. Romania lifted all travel restrictions imposed due to COVID-19, as of 9 March, Ireland has abolished all COVID-19 entry restrictions from 6 March and Germany allowed all travellers, regardless of their country of origin, as high-risk list is abolished from 3 March.
In the US, no PCR test for fully vaccinated and boosted travellers.
Industry observers express surprise that Nigeria that relatively has less of COVID-19 cases is still enforcing compulsory PCR test.
Exasperated by this situation, a well-known Nigerian journalist, David Hundeyin said on Twitter, “I have never heard of a country on this planet where its own citizens are not allowed to board a flight home unless they pay $100 and register on some bullshit portal. I don’t think even Eritrea or North Korea charge a fee to their returning citizens. Only Nigeria.”
Most countries have relaxed COVID-19 restrictions, including the ones that suffered most from the virus.
The US recorded 967, 000 deaths, France, 137, 000, UK, 163, 000, Germany 124, 000 and Turkey, 96, 000 deaths, but Nigeria that is still enforcing COVID-19 restriction recorded 3, 142 deaths.
A Bleak Future for Domestic Airlines - THISDAY
With rising price of aviation fuel, depreciating naira and high airfares, which has depleted passenger traffic, experts fear that some Nigerian carriers may go aground, writes Chinedu Eze
Many airlines that went under in Nigeria did so at operational crisis point, and this could happen during scarcity of aviation fuel, high exchange rate, some inimical government policies that attracted massive criticism and low passenger traffic.
But there was always a predecessor to these factors. It may be maladministration of the airline, mismanagement of operational funds or some other unfavourable internal or external factor.
These factors are present in the industry now. For the first time in several years, price of aviation fuel rose beyond N190 per litre and climbed to maximum N700 per litre as at Monday. The naria had nosedived in value, depreciating to the extent that parallel market is now about N600/$. No succour is coming from government, so the airlines are on their own,sourcing foreign currency from the parallel market.
This degenerating situation has prompted the former CEO of Aero Contractors, Captain Ado Sanusi to warn that some airlines may go under before the end of this year. To make the matter worse, per capita income has drastically depleted that with hike in airfares, fewer people now travel by air because of the hike in airfares. But such hike by airlines is inevitable due to the rising price of aviation fuel and the exchange rate.
Lack of Operational Funds
Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) said they have been subsidizing flight ticket with base fare at N50, 000 for one hour flight and expressed fear that airlines might stop operating if no action is taken to put a check on the rising price of aviation fuel, which they demanded should go back to N200 per litre.
Non-availability and high cost of aviation fuel exacerbated flight delays and cancellation and operators fear that if this continues some airlines would be forced to suspend their operations.
THISDAY learnt that landing cost of aviation fuel rose from N590 to N615-N620 and when fuel charges of N3.50k per litre is added to the cost by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), it would rise to about N622.50 in Lagos, N700.00 in Abuja and N750.00 in Kano.
Sanusi who is also former Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), told THISDAY that due to the scarcity and high cost of aviation fuel, fuel marketers are now giving airlines new conditions before they sell the products to them.
The marketers have insisted that airlines must pay before the product would be supplied to them, a practice that is not the standard in the industry, which is globally known for payment after purchase of the product.
Sanusi said, “You pay for fuel in advance, which is not done in the aviation industry. It will make operations very difficult and lead to more delays and cancellations. You cannot deposit money before you buy fuel.
“If nothing is done urgently, this may lead to the beginning of airlines going down because they cannot continue operating like this, so the federal government should urgently look for the solution of the problem,” he said.
Sanusi said government must intervene by doing away with the middlemen but allow marketers to import the product and sell directly to the airlines.
“These middle men don’t understand aviation. The marketers are part of the industry whose operations are approved by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). Ideally the airlines can buy from the marketers who will issue them invoice and they pay in 24 to 48 hours. This is the way it is done. You cannot even deposit money with the marketers because if you do, they may not even have the product at the time you want it because of uncertainty and volatility in the supply of the product. If care is not taken, Nigerian airlines may go down,” Sanusiwarned.
Oil marketers were also accused of forming cartels and fixing prices of the products. Reports also indicate that they prefer to sell fuel to foreign airlines while holding back from selling to domestic operators. Allegation is also rife that the marketers create artificial scarcity in order to hike the prices.
But during the meeting with House of Representatives and airline operators, the Chairman/CEO of Nepal Oil and Gas Services Limited, Ngozi Ekeoma debunked the insinuation that aviation fuel marketers have become a cartel, saying the parameters for determining the price remain unambiguous.
“Aviation fuel is not a cartel based product. The parameters for determining prices are there. As of today, a vessel costs $25,000 per day at the port. There is the marine cost; we have problems even loading the ATK (the jet fuel). We use trucks that run on diesel. This also adds to the costs. We will have to put all of these costs. For every litre, I am paying FAAN N3: 50k.”
The fuel marketers also said that they give priority to foreign airlines as against local airlines because the foreign carriers pay for aviation fuel in dollars, so most marketers quickly sell to them to get dollars to import more. They also said that they sell to domestic airlines according to existing business relationship, adding that they are more inclined to sell when they are paid cash.
Right Pricing and Safety
At the meeting with the House of Representatives recently, the airline operators requested that the price of aviation fuel should go back to N200 per litre and noted that selling the product at such exorbitant would threaten air safety because it costs so much money to sustain high standard of safety of the aircraft, but if all the operating funds are used to fund aviation fuel the airlines would have no money to maintain their aircraft.
The Vice President of AON and the Chairman/CEO of Air Peace Airline who spoke on behalf of the operators said, “AON is making an appeal to bring down the cost of aviation fuel to N200 per liter. We cannot last the next 72 hours. We didn’t ground our operation because we didn’t want political actors to make a capital out of it. Our DG (Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu) has said it succinctly that safety was at stake. Two days ago we held a meeting. Aviation fuel price moved from N180 per liter some weeks ago it became N405, N415, N450 per litre. With due respect to DG, fuel takes 30 percent cost of operation all over the world, but here in Nigeria, the cost of operation is about 70 per cent even before this increase. The oil marketers were changing the prices of the product anytime over the years but what happened in the last two weeks is unbelievable. We thought that was very alarming at N450 per litre only for us to wake up two days ago it became N599. The following morning it became N670 per litre.
“We cannot operate this way. What we would have done was to shut down. But when we looked back, with benefit of hindsight, what the legislature did for airlines, what the Presidency did for airlines, we decided to sacrifice for this country. On this table you find true Nigerian patriots (airline operators) because we are subsidizing what Nigerians are using in flying, but we cannot continue because we cannot last the next 72 hours doing that because we are indebted. We don’t want AMCON to come after us. It is a lot. It has gone above 150 per cent of our cost,” AON said.
The operators noted that with the outrageous increase in the cost of aviation fuel not only that safety is threatened but the airlines have reduced the number of flights.
“The DG was talking about safety. He was talking about the maintenance of those planes. It is capital intensive to maintain those planes. Airline business does not reward you profitably but it is a business that drives your passion. We are doing this for the sake of our country. When we look at the faces of thousands of Nigerians we have given employment, we don’t want to shut down but the truth is that that is the right thing to do. But after we have looked at these factors we have decided to pay a price. We have cut our flights down to about 60 per cent and what we are flying now is about 30 per cent because the product is not even available. Nigerians know that this product is scarce. The delays and cancellations that are happening now are unimaginable. Sometimes you fly 2:00 am, 3:00 am whenever you get the fuel,” Onyema said on behalf of the operators.
Sourcing the Product
The airlines in one of the meeting had decided that they would want to start importing the products themselves but industry observers noted that it might not be the solution to the problem because the airlines may not have storage facilities and would not buy the product cheaper than the marketers.
The Secretary General of Aviation Round Table (ART) and former Commandant of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Group Captain John Ojikutu (retd) said, “More crisis loom when import licence is issued to the airlines as requested; where would their depot be or where would their storage be at the airports? How would they transport the fuel from the port to the airports and who pays for the transportation? Are they considering these as additional costs or they’ll go back again to government for intervention? Getting licence to import side by side is not what the airlines need. First, remove the monopoly of the NNPC alone importing fuel and bring back Total, Mobil, AP, MRS and Conoil. Secondly, repair the pipeline bridging the supply of fuel from Ejigbo to the airport. The solution to these two will reduce the fuel cost by minimum 30 per cent,” he said.
Ojikutu also noted that no foreign airline would buy fuel from the domestic airlines’ market but from their traditional marketers at home that have same market here.
However, former Director of Operations, Nigerian Aviation Handing Company (NAHCO), Mr. Hurbert Odika told newsmen that the hike in airfares was due to airlines’ running cost. Odika explained, that the industry would never have witnessed the current economic predicament caused by shortage of aviation fuel if the refineries were working
“We will refine here at chapter labour cost, no ocean freight to bring back the finished product, no charges in foreign currency for refining the PMS or AGO to return them back to the country. Nigeria at the moment is cheating itself” he said, regretting that till today no one had explained why the refineries were not up and running, adding that the oil boom was time bound as renewable energy has come to stay while the West is working seriously to ensure that by 2040, renewable energy in Europe would form 80 – 90 percent of their energy consumption.
Fuel price hike: Airline operators back down on threat to cease flight operations - THE CABLE
Nigerian airlines, under the aegis of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), have backed down on their threat to shut down operations over an increase in the price of aviation fuel, also known as Jet A1.
Allen Onyema, vice president of AON and chairman of Air Peace, disclosed this in a phone interview with NAN on Friday in Lagos.
The operators had threatened to shut down services on Friday, March 18, if the government could not find a lasting solution for marketers to reduce the price of Jet A1.
Onyema explained that the airlines collectively agreed to suspend the shutdown to avert further disruption in economic activities, considering the key role air transportation plays in the logistic mix.
“We are not going to shut down flight operations because discussions are ongoing between us and the relevant players in the oil and gas value chain to find a lasting solution to the problem,” Onyema said.
“We are negatively affected by the increasing price of aviation fuel, but as patriotic investors, we will not take any action that will paralyse the economy.
“As patriotic Nigerians and investors, we will continue to engage government and its agencies on the way out of this problem”.
Onyema said the airlines were considering scaling down on flight frequencies to minimise the cost of operations.
He said the price hike was suffocating for local carriers to continue to operate flights as they spend millions of naira to fill an aircraft with aviation fuel.
He added that local carriers were not considering any further increase in airfares so as not to shut out ordinary Nigerians who desire to travel by air.
Onyema said the decisions taken by the local carriers was a patriotic contribution to President Muhamadu Buhari’s administration.
According to him, the administration is presently utilising every instrument by engaging stakeholders in the oil and gas and air transportation sectors to seek a permanent solution to the price hike.
The Air Peace chairman said that the Buhari-led administration had contributed immensely to the development of airlines operations in the country.
“Since the Buhari administration came on board, it has shown sufficient commitment to improve the aviation industry,” he said.
“The president signed an executive order that granted waivers on aircraft and its spares and other interventions, the least we could do is to continue to engage until challenges in the sector are resolved”.
Federal government to end pre-arrival COVID testing for travellers entering Canada - CANADAIN PRESS
The federal government announced Thursday that Canada will end its pre-entry COVID-19 testing requirement for fully vaccinated travellers by the end of the month, CBC News has learned.
Canada is removing the testing requirements at airports and land border crossings. The ministers of health, transport and tourism held a press conference Thursday morning to announce the changes to border measures.
Currently, travellers entering the country must show proof of a negative antigen or molecular test prior to their flight or arrival at the border.
That testing requirement will be dropped by April 1 for fully vaccinated travellers.
The move comes two years into the pandemic as travel picks up and provinces and territories end restrictions involving vaccine passports, gatherings and masks.
The federal government will continue to randomly test travellers upon arrival in Canada to identify and track variants. The government has been spending millions of dollars on randomly testing vaccinated travellers entering Canada.
WATCH | Canada to end pre-arrival COVID-19 testing for travellers entering Canada:
Speaking in Alliston, Ont. on Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not say when the testing regime would end but suggested that more COVID-19 measures will be rolled back.
"The federal government has eased some of the measures at the borders just a few weeks ago. We're going to continue to look at what more we can do," he said.
Zain Chagla, an infectious diseases specialist and associate professor at McMaster University, told CBC News that eliminating the testing is a wise move that could have been made some time ago.
"There wasn't even really a need for this kind of testing back in February when I think the advocacy came in," Chagla said.
"I'm glad that we're aligning with many of our partner countries and dropping this type of testing in order to really make sure that travellers feel secure in their travel and aren't necessarily subject to more expense or inconvenience."
Chagla said that once the Omicron wave hit Canada, the disease was so widespread that testing at the border became essentially useless.
"All it did was create inconvenience, all it did was discomfort the traveller," he said. "It really put an excess burden on the traveller without any significant yield locally."
The hassle of getting tested in the U.S.
Some Canadians who have travelled south of the border told CBC News that pharmacies in the U.S. do not certify that someone tested negative for COVID-19 using a rapid antigen test.
Dax Wilkinson, the founder and president of Red Canoe, a clothing company, told CBC News that pharmacies would only provide documentation related to a nucleic acid amplification test, which cost $99 USD per person.
"It was a challenging and frustrating experience to jump through the hoops to get these tests," he said. "We were under the impression that we could basically pick up a rapid antigen test anywhere at any pharmacy in the U.S. and bring that result to the border and come back into Canada."
Wilkinson said that some pharmacies do not perform the test while others require an advance appointment that makes the whole process difficult, time-consuming and expensive.
Vaccine mandate for air, rail, ship travel remains in effect
The travel industry has been lobbying the government to ease these testing requirements. Consumers have complained that it's expensive and a hassle to find approved testing facilities abroad. Some PCR tests cost upwards of $200, while antigen testing typically costs well under $100.
The Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable, an industry group, called the testing requirement a "non-science-based" obstacle undermining the sector and a "significant deterrent, discouraging international companies from resuming travel into Canada."
The group pointed out that the United Kingdom, Denmark, Switzerland and Ireland were among the countries that had dropped the testing requirements already and urged Canada to do the same by April 1.
The government's vaccine mandate for domestic and international flights departing from Canada, for VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains and for cruise ships will remain in effect for now, sources said. .
PCR tests for travellers fraudulent, probe NCDC, ministry – WHO envoy - PUNCH
BY Deborah Tolu-Kolawole
The World Health Organisation’s Special Envoy for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, Ayoade Alakija, has called for an investigation of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Ministry of Health over the required COVID-19 PCR tests for inbound passengers to Nigeria.
Alakija, in a tweet via her official Twitter handle, @yodifiji, wondered why the PCR tests were done with no reagents.
The PUNCH reports that the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Ifedayo Adetifa, had earlier insisted that Nigeria would not scrap COVID-19 tests for inbound passengers into the country.
Adetifa had said the country was reporting a high rate of COVID-19 cases from inbound passengers, hence the need for the insistence of the tests.
Alakija, reacting to a tweet by a journalist, David Hundeyin, tweeted, “It’s a scam. The entire thing is a criminal enterprise and should be exposed. “Diagnostic tests to enter a country where the government officials have interest in Dx test centres. PCR tests with no reagents? NCDC and MOH should be investigated. It is a scam, period.”
At least 70 migrants dead or missing off Libya in past two weeks - IOM - REUTERS
TRIPOLI, March 17 (Reuters) - At least 70 migrants have been reported dead or missing off Libya in the past two weeks, the international Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a statement on Thursday.
On 12 March, a boat reportedly carrying 25 migrants capsized near the Libyan coast of Tobruk. Authorities rescued six migrants and recovered seven bodies, while 12 remain missing, according to IOM’s Missing Migrants Project.
Reporting by Angus McDowall; Writing by Alaa Swilam; Editing by Hugh Lawson
Russia to ensure safety, wellbeing of Nigerians — Official - NAN
Russia has assured that it would continue to provide necessary assistance to ensure the safety and well-being of Nigerian citizens in the Russian Federation.
This is contained in a statement issued on Friday by the Embassy of Nigeria in Moscow, Russia on sideline of the meeting between officials of the two countries.
The meeting was between Prof. Abdullahi Shehu, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Nigeria to Russia with concurrent accreditation to Belarus, and Mikhail BOGDANOV, Special Representative of Russian Federation for the Middle East and Africa.
BOGDANOV, who is also Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, gave the assurance at the meeting with Shehu in his office.
The statement said: “BOGDANOV informed Shehu regarding logistics arrangements put in place by the Russia to assist in the evacuation of Nigerian students that were stuck in Kherson, Ukraine.
“He assured the ambassador that the Russian Government will provide necessary assistance to ensure the safety and well-being of Nigerian citizens in the Russian Federation.
“During their conversation, the current situation in Ukraine was discussed, as well as a range of topical matters regarding the future development of the traditionally friendly Russia-Nigeria relations.
“Also were efforts to expand mutually beneficial cooperation in trade, economy, science, technology, culture, humanitarian sphere and other fields.”
The embassy said BOGDANOV further informed Shehu that the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation would offer admissions to Nigerians willing to continue their education in Russia.
The minister recalled the warm and beneficial relationships between Nigeria and Russia, as well as the latter`s military and political support to Nigeria during the civil war.
It also mentioned that such support was in the area of subsequent assistance to Nigeria to build the Ajaokuta Steel Complex, as well as assistance for nuclear technology development for peaceful purposes.
“He further assured the Nigerian Envoy that Russia considers Nigeria as an important country and a strategic partner in Africa and will continue to strengthen our bilateral relationships,” the statement added.
Responding, Shehu expressed appreciation to the Government of Russia for its concern and assistance towards the plights of Nigerians.
Shehu recalled that the cordial relations between Nigeria and the Russian Federation at the bilateral, continental and global levels, including Nigeria`s support towards the Russia-Africa Summit.
He commended such relations to have been in areas of global issues such as fight against terrorism, climate change and international peace and security.
The ambassador, however, requested the Russian authorities to provide necessary conducive environment for the welfare and well being of Nigerians in Russia and strengthen Nigeria-Russian bilateral relations in all sectors.
Aviation Crisis Lingers As Airlines, Marketers Fail To Agree On Jet Fuel Price - DAILY POST
Airline operators and fuel marketers are yet to agree on a new pricing framework for aviation fuel known as Jet A1, Daily Trust can...
- By Abdullateef Aliyu
Airline operators and fuel marketers are yet to agree on a new pricing framework for aviation fuel known as Jet A1, Daily Trust can report.
Both parties have been meeting since Tuesday at the instance of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
This followed the intervention of the House of Representatives which summoned stakeholders over the scarcity and skyrocketing price of Jet A1 which has disrupted flight operations.
At the meeting with the House of Representatives on Monday, it was agreed that aviation fuel would be sold at N500 per litre as against the over N600 sold in some parts of the country while airline operators would also be licensed to import ATK (Aviation Turbine Kerosene).
However, a follow-up meeting coordinated by the Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage & Retailing Infrastructure of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Mr Ogbugo Ukoha, and Group Executive Director, Downstream of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Adeyemi Adetunji, failed to agree on the new pricing template.
Both parties were later asked to nominate representatives that would work overnight with the NNPC representatives to come up with a new pricing framework.
The team has been meeting since then but they have not been able to agree on a new pricing template while aviation fuel price has not changed.
Daily Trust learnt that arguments and counter-arguments have stalled any reasonable compromise.
Managing Director of Aero Contractors, Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood, in a chat last night said both parties have not agreed on the new price.
He said, “It is a work in progress; we have not come to a conclusion, we are yet to finalise everything. We are still working on it. They (fuel marketers) made a template, but we have not finalized on it. The meeting is continuing tomorrow.
“We don’t know when the meeting will come to an end. It’s like back and forth. Both parties are still dragging it. So, you cannot say this is when the meeting will come to an end. Hopefully, we are going to get something out of it. We are getting the green light from it. We have to get something from it. If we don’t get something out of it, the government will have to intervene.”
Another fuel marketer also told our correspondent that they are still discussing proposals which will be concluded soon.