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Royal Mail Wants a Fleet of 500 Drones to Ship Parcels Across UK - BLOOMBERG

MAY 12, 2022

(Bloomberg) -- Royal Mail Plc has teamed up with Windracers Group to create more than 50 new postal drone routes over the next three years.

The partnership will aim to provide faster services for customers in remote communities across the UK, from Scilly to the Shetland Islands. Royal Mail’s initial plan is to deploy a fleet of 200 drones over the next three years, before pursuing a longer-term aim of sending more than 500 to cover all corners of the country.

The postal service has been testing the use of drones for the last 18 months, with the most recent trial held in April. The drones have the capability to fly in difficult weather conditions and can carry up to 100 kilograms of mail.

The plans put the UK “firmly at the forefront of this exciting sector,” Windracers Chairman Stephen Wright said in a statement. “The middle mile of supply and logistics, especially to remote locations, has long been overlooked by the industry and is ripe for innovation.’’

The first routes identified for the new service includes the Orkney Islands and the Hebrides. Approval will be required from the Civil Aviation Authority.

China Denies Beijing to Lock Down as Residents Rush to Buy Food - BLOOMBERG

MAY 12, 2022

(Bloomberg) -- Beijing officials denied the city will be locked down and urged people not to hoard food as residents flocked to grocery stores amid growing concern the Chinese capital’s response to a persistent Covid-19 outbreak is about to be intensified. 

Speculation that Beijing will be locked down or put into a “quiet period” are rumors, Xu Hejian, a spokesperson for the Beijing municipal government said at a press briefing on Thursday. The city’s some 20 million residents don’t need to be nervous about food supply and deliveries aren’t halted, Xu said. 

“It is unnecessary to hoard food,” he said. “Residents don’t need to worry, the city’s operations won’t be affected.”

The comments came amid speculation on Chinese social media that Beijing -- which has seen an escalating raft of pandemic restrictions the past few weeks -- may be subject to a lockdown like fellow megalopolis Shanghai. Queues quickly started to form Thursday afternoon at grocery stores, where shelves were being emptied of fresh vegetables and other staples. 

Delivery times on online grocery apps also extended to multiple hours. 

Virtual Fence in Beijing Curbs Cab Access to Covid-Hit Districts

Beijing saw 36 new Covid cases in the 24 hours to 3pm local time, with just four of the infections in the community. China’s strict Covid Zero policy sees all positive cases and their close contacts isolated in government quarantine sites. The strategy, which relies on a playbook of closed borders, quarantines, lockdowns and mass testing, is leaving the country increasingly isolated as the rest of the world lives with Covid and opens up. 

Shanghai has already been locked down for more than a month, with food shortages and delivery delays marking the first few weeks of restrictions. Most of that city’s 25 million residents remain under some form of lockdown, as officials seek to eliminate Covid from within the community, despite the increasing economic and social costs. 

Read more: China’s Covid Zero Policy Makes 2020-Style Rebound Unlikely

Some Shanghai neighborhoods have announced “quiet periods,” where residents aren’t allowed to go outside and deliveries are curbed, while more people are being shipped off to government-run isolation centers under a new definition of what it means to be a close contact.

Beijing has never seen a city-wide lockdown during the pandemic, even during the early days of 2020, so such a move there -- in China’s center of power -- would be seen as hugely symbolic. 

Why China Is Sticking With Its Covid Zero Strategy: QuickTake

(Updates with authorities denying rumor of a lockdown from first paragraph.)

Passenger Jet Bursts Into Flames During Takeoff in China - BLOOMBERG

MAY 13, 2022

(Bloomberg) -- A Tibet Airlines plane burst into flames after veering off the runway during takeoff at China’s Chongqing Airport, footage on social media showed.

The front portion of the Airbus SE A319 aircraft was engulfed in flames and enveloped by thick black smoke. Passengers carrying bags and other items were seen on the tarmac running away from the burning jet.

All 113 passengers and nine crew onboard the flight were evacuated, Tibet Airlines said in a statement posted on Weibo. Some passengers suffered minor injuries, the airline said.

The plane was due to fly from Chongqing in China’s southwest to Nyingchi in Tibet.

Tibet Airlines is a subsidiary of state-owned national carrier Air China Ltd.

The incident comes less than two months after a China Eastern Airlines Corp. plane crashed in the southwestern province of Guangxi, killing all 132 passengers and crew. 

Airport delays effectively forcing flight attendants to work for free: Union - THE CANADIAN PRESS

MAY 14, 2022

MONTREAL — Flight attendants are effectively forced to work for free amid growing tarmac delays — particularly at Toronto's Pearson airport — according to the employees' biggest union.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents some 15,000 flight attendants, says the clogged airports and lengthy wait times that have plagued thousands of passengers in recent weeks are also extracting what amounts to unpaid labour from cabin crews.

Flight attendants are typically compensated based on time in the air, so hours spent on the tarmac tending to frustrated travellers yields no extra wages in some cases, while other collective agreements allow for half pay. The problem, most acute at Canada's largest airport since late last month, plays out after planes land and then sit for up to three hours at the gate, said Wesley Lesosky, who heads CUPE's airline division.

"They're actively doing water service, helping people. The cabins are getting hot, because obviously they're on the ground ... they can be tending to ensuring the aisles are clear, doorways are clear," he said in a phone interview from Victoria.

"For Air Canada Rouge, there's zero pay, zero compensation for them. For Air Canada, it's a 50 per cent credit if the service director claims it."

The on-the-ground work can be even more taxing — and occasionally abusive — than service in the sky, he added.

"We've definitely seen a huge increase in irate customers, and just health and safety issues in general for cabin crew."

Time on board also eats into employee downtime between flights, potentially contravening contract provisions — a potential problem for airlines as well, said former Air Canada chief operating officer Duncan Dee, citing both collective agreements and aviation regulations.

"If flights are routinely delayed and crews are unable to meet their minimum crew rest then a cascading effect happens where subsequent flights are delayed, not only because the plane is arriving late, but because crews must have a minimum number of hours to rest after a full duty day."

Even half-time pay for tarmac delays could also wind up costing carriers a bundle, he added.

Lesosky says airlines and federal agencies need to hire more staff to improve the flow of passengers and that an "outdated" system of compensation must be reformed.

Airports, particularly in Toronto and Vancouver, have seen hours-long security queues, customs bottlenecks and other delays due to random COVID-19 testing as passengers return to the skies en masse following more than two years of pent-up demand.

On Wednesday, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said Canada's airport security agency is increasing its staffing, but that a lack of workers is not the main culprit for the unacceptable processing lags — an assessment the sector disagrees with.

The WestJet Group is hoping to see the issue resolved through action by government agencies.

"WestJet is extremely concerned with the state of services provided by government agencies at our air borders and security screening points," spokeswoman Madison Kruger said in an email.

Along with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, the carrier is calling for fewer "legacy public health requirements," including an end to random testing upon arrival for international passengers, which takes up time and terminal space.

The union spoke with Air Canada Rouge representatives Thursday afternoon, and planned to discuss the labour issues with Air Canada management later in the day, Lesosky said.

Air Canada did not respond immediately to questions from The Canadian Press.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 12, 2022.

Companies in this story: (TSX:AC)

Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press

Enugu Govt Shuns United Nigeria’s Plan to Establish Hub in Akanu Ibiam Airport - THISDAY

MAY 14, 2022

BY  Chinedu Eze

There are indications that the plan by United Nigeria Airlines to establish its operational hub in Akanu Ibiam Airport,Enugu, may not be realised because of alleged lack of enthusiasm from the state government.

Not a few were elated when the emerging domestic carrier announced that it would use Enugu as its operational hub. The idea was welcomed by many because the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos is already congested. Again, the spokesman of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Sam Adurogboye, told THISDAY recently that locating such hubs at other airports would reduce the pressure on Lagos and also reduce delays in passenger processing at the nation’s busiest airport.

This is the reason why it was heartily welcomed when Ibom Air announced that it would be operating from Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom state, Azman Air and Max Air operating from Kano, while Air Peace, Dana Air, Overland Airways, Green Africa, Arik Air and Aero Contractors operate from Lagos. The last time an airline operated from Enugu was in 2007 when SosolisoAirlines ceased operation after the tragic accident involving one of its flights in Port Harcourt. Industry insiders said the airline operated profitably before its demise and it never serviced the lucrative Lagos-Abuja route, but opened some of the routes that have become commercial success today in the South East and South South regions.

Information from the United Nigeria Airlines indicated that it would terminate its plan to locate its hub in Enugu because it was unable to secure a place to build its head office and it also planned to site its maintenance facility there.

THISDAY learnt that after the initial request to establish its operational headquarters in Enugu, the Enugu state government welcomed the idea and made promises of support but has failed to fulfill any of the promises.

THISDAY spoke to the Chairman of United Nigeria Airlines, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, who was already exasperated by the response he was getting from the Enugu state government.  According to him, that decision to establish the airline’s hub in Enugu might be rescinded any moment because of the disappointment the management of the airline received from the state government.

“We have the best of intensions to go to Enugu. We are not getting all the support we looked forward to getting from the state government despite all the promises. I am afraid that if nothing is done soon, it might affect our decision to be in Enugu. If we don’t get what we want; we may have to rescind our decision to make Enugu our operational hub,” Okonkwo told THISDAY.

He said that he was encouraged by the initial enthusiasm of the state government and the promises it made to the airline, but he was shocked when that hope oscillated to coldness and lack of response for the state government.

“We are not getting the necessary cooperation and we have had meetings, promises were made but not one thing out of many of the promises has been fulfilled. We intend to have a befitting head office in Enugu with hundreds of staff. If you start renting or buying land at commercial rate in such environment it will involve huge amount of money. We are not estate developers to buy and resell. We expected that at least the state should have considered allocation of some plots of land for us to have at official rate. We are not saying give us free,” he explained.

Okonkwo also disclosed that a land that was earmarked for his company was being contested by the Nigeria Air Force and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), so he expected the state government to step in and resolve the matter, but so far it has done nothing about it.

“The space at the airport they earmarked for us; there seems to be some internal issues with FAAN and other stakeholders at the airport, like the Nigeria Air Force. The state government has promised to come between FAAN and Air Force to smoothen whatever is the issue so that this could be resolved as quickly as possible,” Okonkwo said.

He also said that the Enugu state government understands the benefits of having the airline locate its hub in Enugu in terms of job creation, in terms of revenue from taxes and other opportunities, so he expected encouragement and incentives, but so far Enugu government had deflated the company’s hope.

“We are investors; we are willing and available to play our own part. In my discussion with them, there was no any reason for me to believe that they do not understand the value of our being in Enugu. We have to add to the economy of the state. That is our state for tax purposes. We are moving in hundreds of staff who will pay their income taxes and engage in other expenses, including expatriates. Thy showed good knowledge of the value we are going to bring, but their inability to take steps to facilitate the things we need is what I do not know. For me, we are almost giving up,” he said.

THISDAY investigation at the Enugu airport confirmed the land in dispute. Informed source from the airport said that the Minister of Aviation and the Enugu state government are in discussion over the land.

“The land issue is before the state government with the Minister of Aviation,” the source told THISDAY.

An official of the state government also told THISDAY that government would not allow the company to move its planned hub from Enugu, promising that the Governor of the state would respond to United Nigeria Airlines’ request.

Why Nigerian Airlines Cannot Work Together - THISDAY

MAY 14, 2022

The way domestic carriers reneged on their plan to shut down operations last Monday confirms why they cannot work together or collaborate to ensure their survival, economy of scale and improved service for air travellers, writes Chinedu Eze

While the threat to shut down flight operations on May 9, 2022 by the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) attracted both local and international attention and provided the platform for oil marketers, the airlines, the National Assembly and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to discuss and negotiate the price of aviation fuel in Nigeria, it also reconfirmed that Nigerian carriers cannot work effectively together.

After agreeing last Friday they would shut down operations, some of the airlines that signed the statement to stop operations began to renege by releasing separate statements that they would not adhere to the general agreement. It started with Ibom Air, followed by Dana Air, Overland Airways, Aero Contractors and Arik Air; until AON issued statement cancelling the planned shut down. 

However, the threat to shut down operations yielded benefits for the airlines by waking up the consciousness of Nigerians and the federal government to the fact that airlines might ground their operations if they continue to pay highly for aviation fuel.

One of the major factors attributed to why Nigerian airlines are not doing well is their refusal to cooperate and work together. Many industry stakeholders have attributed the short lifespan of Nigerian carriers to their go it alone attitude, the cut throat competition and the tendency for them to undermine one another. Nigeria’s international aviation consultant, Nick Fadugba had at different fora canvassed for merger and collaboration of Nigerian airlines.

In 2017, Fadugba who is the CEO of African Aviation Services Limited, Chairman, African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) and former Secretary-General of Africa Airlines Association (AFRAA), explained to THISDAY why Nigerian airlines would do better if they work together.

He attributed the stunted growth of the aviation industry in Nigeria to the small size of the country’s airlines, describing them as unprofitable with very short lifespan.

He said the survivability of the domestic airlines could only happen, if the airlines pool their resources together and benefit from the economy of scale in their operations, training and maintenance.

Fadugba who is also the publisher of African Aviation magazine observed that Nigeria has too many airlines, which are too small, so the market is fragmented. He noted that none of the airlines have a critical mass in terms of fleet or route network to become effective and to make money.

“When you look at Ethiopian Airlines, the combined fleet of all Nigerian airlines is about 40 percent of the fleet of Ethiopian airlines. We have approximately 40 aircraft as a country, all our airlines. Ethiopia at the moment has about 90 plus (2017) aircraft and the most modern. And not only that, in the next few years they will operate about 130 aircraft. So you see Ethiopian is taking on a bigger scale,” Fadugba said.

He noted, however, that it could be said that Ethiopia Airlines has a monopoly, which is very different from Nigeria that has a very vibrant economy, adding, because of this, Nigeria has many airlines, which could be described as a good thing in a way, whereas none of these airlines could be described as profitable.

“So what I would recommend for our Nigerian airlines is that they need to work together, they can compete, for example on Lagos-Abuja or Abuja-Port Harcourt but they can work together on training, on maintenance, on spares pooling, on spare parts purchasing, there are many areas where they can work together. They can still compete, it is done in the rest of the world, airlines can compete and collaborate,” he said.

Cutthroat Competition

When the first statement against the collective agreement to ground operations on May 9, 2022 came out, one industry stakeholder noted, “A stand alone commercial airline amongst all domestic operators? How about loan of spare parts like brakes, lubricants, and tyres in outstations? How about share of weather and security information?  How about rescue missions in case of emergency? Best approach should have been to respond to inquiries by all their other platforms that they will continue to operate. Issuing press statement as this shows members of AON are not united with the executive.”

But it is however, heartwarming that airlines like Azman Air, Max Air, United Airlines and Air Peace stuck to the agreement until AON issued a statement cancelling the plans to shut down operations. Industry observers note that the airline sub-sector is pervaded by animosity, bitterness and anger, which are tools, which they use to undermine one another. Investigations also revealed that when one airline is involved in an incident, another airline would want the public to know about it and when late in the day it seemed the public might not be notified, another airline would surreptitiously release the information. 

“There is too much backbiting. It will be difficult for them to work together,” an industry insider said.

In 2018 some text messages went virile, where passengers were being warned not to fly Air Peace and Dana Air. One of the messages was credited to pastor Johnson Suleman, the general overseer of Omega Fire Ministries International. Suleman had to issue a statement denying the earlier message. Later another airline was fingered for circulating the message against the aforementioned airlines.

THISDAY spoke to the then Director of Consumer Protection, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Adamu Abdullahi and he said, “It was a desperate de-marketing strategy, caused by this intense competition among the airlines. We believe that it is the airlines that were fighting each other to the extent that they went ahead to damage each other’s name. There were even posts on social medium, Whatsapp by pilots, telling you not to fly an airline they just left; that they left the services of that airline because they don’t maintain their aircraft. But that is not true because all the pilots and crew of the accused airline would have left if there were any of such danger. This is because no one would want to go and commit suicide if by any chance the aircraft is not maintained, and they go and have an accident. People should think twice about all these fake news that go on air. NCAA has given assurances that any aircraft you see in Nigeria’s airspace is safe and airworthy.”

Working Together

Hours before AON cancelled the planned shut down last Sunday, the CEO of Aero Contractors, Captain Abdullahi Mahmood was interviewed on Arise TV where he spoke on behalf of all the airlines, explaining why the prices of aviation fuel had to be reviewed downwards. 

He said if the airlines continued to source fuel at the cost of N700 per litre, they would continue to incur debts with the oil marketers and pile up debts for the airlines, which might drown the airlines from existence. 

He requested that the marketers should review the current cost of the aviation fuel so that the domestic carriers would return to normal operations.

“If we continue operation we will be doubling the debts of the airlines. We already owe marketers. If we pay them now we would just be defraying the old debts we owe them while the new debts remain. This will lead to consistent flight delays because the marketers who are doing business for profit will refuse to sell to us without payment so our passengers will be waiting while the airlines will be begging marketers to sell fuel to them. At a time you just decide to end it all and this is what we have done,” Mahmood said.

On that same day, in another interview on Arise TV, the Chairman and CEO of Air Peace, Allen Onyema confirmed that airlines were now heavily indebted because of fuel, adding that universally, fuel constitute 40 per cent of operating cost but in Nigeria, “it is now up to 95 per cent of operating costs”, stressing that no airline could survive this in the next three weeks, as airlines have been subsidising costs for passengers in the last three months.  

Onyema explained the impact of the fuel price increase, noting that a Boeing 737 burns about 4,365 litres of fuel for one-hour flight to Abuja; when multiplied by N700 per litre, it amounts to over N3 million. 

He said for airlines to recover this N3 million, airlines would charge N60, 000 per passenger for fuel alone. 

Onyema said: “This is without the cost of insurance, maintenance; taxes, Passenger Service Charge and NCAA five percent on tickets, NIMET charges, Nigeria Airspace Management Agency charges, staff salaries, and bird strikes amongst others,” adding that when all these costs are included, passengers would need to pay nothing less than N150, 000 for an hour flight ticket for airlines to break even.

Compromising Safety

Working together and fighting together is deemed desirable because collectively the airlines would protect their interest. Aviation insider said that when the airlines don’t work together they go under as individual experience. 

The Managing Director of Flights and Logistics Solutions, Amos Akpan examined the consequences of airlines literally getting drowned in high aviation fuel prices. He wanted to know whether if stretched financially by the high cost of aviation fuel, whether airlines wouldn’t succumb to the temptation of cutting corners.

“This question needs to be addressed in the light of current effects of the high price of aviation fuel. Whatever strategy will be adopted to solve the issue, subsidy is not part of it because we can’t retrogress. The airlines have observed the wide gap between the landing cost of aviation fuel(ATK) and the pump price at the tarmac. Nigerian domestic airlines are saying the price of aviation fuel at N700 per liter makes their cost of operating each flight higher than the income they earn from operating that flight.

“The airlines cannot request the government to force down the price for ATK by saying it is too high. The airlines should want to increase the prices of tickets so that income from sales will pay for cost of production of the service. This is a very simplistic approach but may not solve their problems. The purchasing power (money for travels) of the existing and potential air travelers has its elastic limit, which is determined by the country’s economy,” Akpan noted.

He observed that there is a point the airlines fare would cause low patronage of their services because the economic realities would force current air travelers to look for purse friendly alternative mode of traveling within Nigeria. 

“The security situation may have forced more people to choose air travels. But virtual meetings and electronic transactions have become alternative to physical travels. These alternatives will cause low patronage, which will cause low yield, which will constrain airlines to provide lower capacity per route. This may lead to limited frequency and could constrict size of domestic operations.

“Government cannot force airlines to a price ceiling but economic realities can. But where is the correlation with safety?

“Safety is not a selling point for airline operations. Safety is the base entry point for all businesses in the aviation industry. An airline cannot bid me to come choose her flight from point A to B because it is safe. Safety is taken as granted in airline operations,” he further stated.

Akpan also said that an airline needs money to build, support, and sustain safe practices continuously as long as it operates, safety cannot be separated from the airline’s financial status. 

“An operating airline that the inflow from sales cannot fund the cost of flight operations is likely to compromise safety standards,” he added.

Nigerian Student Buys Fake Turkish Airlines Ticket from Abuja Airport - THISDAY

MAY 14, 2022

BY  Chinedu Eze

A Nigerian student in Cyprus was shocked when he learnt that the return ticket he bought from Turkish Airlines office at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, was fake.

On the day he wanted to reschedule flight date to return to Nigeria, he was told the ticket was a fake one, and that he had already used the ticket.

The student, Ajunwa Chukwuebuka, bought the ticket February 26, 2022. It has serial number, 59211806, ticket number, 2356982434805; reference booking number, UWQHX7 and he was supposed to fly from Ataturk International Airport, Istanbul to Nigeria.

According to Chukwuebuka’s father, Mr. Raphael Ajunwa, he bought a one way ticket for his son, from Lagos to Cyprus, but he was told that the new policy of Turkish Airlines was that every passenger must buy return ticket. 

That was what prompted him to go to the Abuja airport and bought return ticket for his son. But when he travelled with the first ticket and arrived Cyprus, after few days he went to Turkish Airlines to reschedule his return date to Nigeria and he was told that the ticket was a fake one, that it indicated he had used the ticket.

“We bought the first ticket from Lagos, but bought the return from Abuja. The airline told us that he must buy return ticket so I went to Turkish Airlines office at the airport in Abuja and paid through POS but when he reached Cyprus they told him it was fake ticket; that he had used it. As I man talking to you now, my son is stranded in Cyprus,” Ajunwa said.

The cost of the ticket, according to the receipt from the POS was N282, 125.00 and the payment was made on February 26, 2022 and the receipt bore Turkish Airlines, POS [email protected]

THISDAY made efforts to contact Turkish Airlines official in Nigeria but the phone number available was call centre number and ticket sales office number.

Nigeria's Sokoto State Declares Curfew Over Student Killing Protests - REUTERS

MAY 14, 2022

KANO, Nigeria (Reuters) - Nigeria's Sokoto state has declared an immediate 24-hour curfew to quell protests demanding the release of suspects in the killing of Deborah Samuel last week, a statement from the governor's office said.

Samuel was beaten and burned by fellow students for alleged blasphemous statements about the Prophet Mohammad in a Whatsapp group.

(Reporting by Hamza Ibrahim, Writing by Julia Payne)

Emirates joins list of companies to adopt BTC - PUNCH

MAY 14, 2022

BY  Temitayo Jaiyeola

Emirates Airlines has joined a growing list of companies set to accept Bitcoin as a payment option.

The company’s Chief Operating Officer, Adel Al-Redha, disclosed this in a statement.

He suggested that the company might have to recruit employees to assist it in creating applications that would monitor customer needs. He further explained the differences between NFTs and the metaverse.

According to Bitcoin.com, he stated, “NFTs and metaverse are two different applications and approaches. With the metaverse, you will be able to transform your whole processes — whether it is in operation, training, sales on the website, or complete experience — into a metaverse type application, but more importantly making it interactive.”

The company said it would also add non-fungible token collectibles on its webpage.

Al-Redha did not give an exact date as to when the airline would launch its BTC payment service. This report is coming weeks after the airline announced its NFT and metaverse plans. According to the company, its goal with its metaverse launch was to ensure it aligned with the UAE’s vision for the digital economy.

According to him, the airline was exploring using blockchain to keep aircraft records. He added that the company might use the metaverse to transform its processes such as operations, training, website sales, and other airline-related experiences into the digital world.

This is coming as airports and airlines around the world explore ways to integrate blockchain-based technologies and crypto payments. In February 2021, Air France collaborated with several organisations in a bid to create a blockchain-based system that verifies COVID-19 test results.

The Latvian airline airBaltic added Dogecoin and Ether into its payment options in March 2021, since it has been accepting BTC since 2014.

In October 2021, Salvadoran President, Nayib Bukele, said the airline, Volaris El Salvador, would start accepting BTC payments.

Dana Air Raises The Alarm Over Aviation Fuel Scarcity, As Flight Delays Return - INDEPENDENT

MAY 14, 2022

By Olusegun Koiki


LAGOS  – Barely few days after the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) suspended their planned grounding of operations over skyrocketing price of Jet A1, the product has become scarce again in the local market. 

The scarcity of the product has once again led to flight delays across the country. 

Mr. Sukhjinder Mann, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO), Dana Air in a statement he personally signed said that the situation had affected the performance of the airline to its clients and called for passengers’ understanding on the issue. 

He said: “Unfortunately, we are again witnessing the scarcity of Jet A1 fuel across the airports in Nigeria, which has in some cases, caused recent flight delays. 

“Our commitment towards offering a convenient and reliable schedule has never been in doubt and has always been centered on setting new standards in customer experience and redefining air travel and this communication is to reassure you that we have the commitment of our fuel partners to service our requirements, and that we will continue to offer you competitive fares for your business and leisure travels. “ 

Mann, however, said that the travelling public remained at the centre of its activities and lauded them for reposing confidence in its operations, which had led to its progressing and consolidation of its collective efforts. 

He reiterated that the determination of the management to make Dana Air one of Nigeria’s most reliable and customer friendly airline remained sacrosanct with a commitment to maintain its safety standards, operational efficiency, and schedule reliability. 

“We crave your understanding and thank you once again for choosing Dana Air. We look forward to welcoming you on board very soon,” he added. 

He emphasised that the airline was doing everything possible to keep its passengers flying as per published schedules. 

It would be recalled that the airline operators had last week threated to suspend operations from Monday this week over the rising of aviation fuel to N700 per litre, but the intervention of the Federal Government led to the suspension of the planned strike. 

On Monday, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in a meeting assured that the product would be supplied to the airlines at N480 per litre for the next three months. 

This was one of the resolutions at the end of the meeting by the House of Representatives to avert airline operators’ planned shutdown. 

Speaker of the house, Femi Gbajabiamila who announced the resolutions, said the CBN had agreed to provide the aviation fuel at N480 — in what seems like a forex subsidy — pending when the carriers would be granted license to import the commodity.

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