Aero Contractors Airlines, Nigeria’s second largest commercial carrier, has confirmed an exclusive report by announcing the suspension of its scheduled services beginning from Thursday September 1, 2016.
On Monday, August 22, 2016, the punch reported that the airline was set to lay off some of its workers due to its worsening financial crisis.
The report also noted that the carrier was in talks with aviation unions on how to cut down on the number of workers in its employ, after sources from the sector revealed that Aero was contemplating a suspension of its scheduled flight services.
Confirming this in a statement signed by the carrier’s management on Wednesday, Aero stated that the suspension was part of the strategic business realignment to reposition the airline and return it to profitability.
It stated that this “business decision”, which is a result of the current economic situation in the country, had forced some other airlines to suspend operations or pull out of Nigeria.
The management of the carrier said the airline had faced grave challenges in the past six months which impacted its business and by extension the scheduled services operations.
These factors, according to Aero, are both internal and external environmental factors that have made it difficult for it to continue its scheduled services.
It stated that during the period in review, Aero witnessed epileptic operations and services to the external public that were caused by non-alignment of fundamental issue of the business, which in some cases had been frustrating and embarrassing to all parties including staff, customers and indeed all stakeholders.
As part of its resolve to ensure the airline survived unlike most other carriers that experienced short life span in the country, AMCON had appointed Mr. Adeniyi Adegbomire SAN as Receiver Manager in February 6, 2016, with the aim of turning the airline around.
Since AMCON’s intervention in Aero Contractors in 2011, it had provided support for the airline to meet working capital requirements and fleet expansion.
These were to ensure the airline remains a going concern providing services to various clients and the general public.
But the airline noted that unfortunately, the operating environment within and outside the Aero had hindered any possible progress especially in the last six months when the naira depreciated against the dollar thus making it impossible for the airline to achieve its operational targets.
It started that with these realities coupled with protracted engagements with all relevant stakeholders, the management strenuously reviewed and assessed options and opportunities on ensuring viability, safety and sustainability of operations during the period with a lot of sacrifices.
The airline said, “The impact of the external environment has been very harsh on our operational performance, hence management decision to suspend scheduled services operations indefinitely effective September 1, 2016, pending when the external opportunities and a robust sustainable and viable plan is in place for Aero Contractors to recommence its scheduled services.
“The implication of the suspension of scheduled services operations extends to all staffs directly and indirectly involved in providing services as they are effectively to proceed on indefinite leave of absence during the period of non-services.
It added, “We are aware of the impact this will have on our staff and our highly esteemed customers, hence we have initiated moves to ensure that we are able to return back to operations within the shortest possible time, offering reliable, safe and secure operations, which the airline is known for.”
Crude Oil Dips Slightly on Friday Amid Demand Concerns
On Friday, global crude oil prices experienced a slight dip, primarily attributed to mounting concerns surrounding demand despite signs of a tightening market.
Brent crude prices edged lower, nearing $83 per barrel, following a recent uptick of 1.6% over two consecutive sessions.
Similarly, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude hovered around $78 per barrel. Despite the dip, market indicators suggest a relatively robust market, with US crude inventories expanding less than anticipated in the previous week.
The oil market finds itself amidst a complex dynamic, balancing optimistic signals such as reduced OPEC+ output and heightened tensions in the Middle East against persistent worries about Chinese demand, particularly as the nation grapples with economic challenges.
This delicate equilibrium has led oil futures to mirror the oscillations of broader stock markets, underscoring the interconnectedness of global economic factors.
Analysts, including Michael Tran from RBC Capital Markets LLC, highlight the recurring theme of robust oil demand juxtaposed with concerning Chinese macroeconomic data, contributing to market volatility.
Also, recent attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea by Houthi militants have added a risk premium to oil futures, reflecting geopolitical uncertainties beyond immediate demand-supply dynamics.
While US crude inventories saw a slight rise, they remain below seasonal averages, indicating some resilience in the market despite prevailing uncertainties.
Nigeria’s Petrol Imports Decrease by 1 Billion Litres Following Subsidy Removal
Nigeria’s monthly petrol imports declined by approximately 1 billion litres following the fuel subsidy removal by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported.
The NBS findings illuminate the tangible effects of this policy shift on the country’s petroleum importation dynamics.
Prior to the subsidy removal, the NBS report delineated a consistent pattern of petrol imports with quantities ranging between 1.91 billion and 2.29 billion litres from March to May 2023.
However, in the aftermath of Tinubu’s decision, the nation witnessed a notable downturn in petrol imports, with figures plummeting to 1.64 billion litres in June, the first post-subsidy month.
This downward trend persisted in subsequent months, with July recording a further reduction to 1.45 billion litres and August witnessing a significant decline to 1.09 billion litres.
August’s import figures represented a decrease of over 1 billion litres compared to the corresponding period in 2022.
The NBS report underscores the pivotal role of the subsidy removal in reshaping Nigeria’s petrol import landscape with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company emerging as the sole importer of fuel in the current scenario.
Despite higher petrol imports in the first half of 2023 compared to the previous year, the decline in June, July, and August underscores the profound impact of subsidy removal on import dynamics, affirming the NBS’s latest findings.
Nigeria’s Oil Rig Count Soars From 11 to 30, Says NUPRC CEO
The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Gbenga Komolafe, has announced a surge in the country’s oil rig count.
Komolafe disclosed that Nigeria’s oil rigs have escalated from 11 to 30, a substantial increase since 2011.
Attributing this surge to concerted efforts by NUPRC and other governmental stakeholders, Komolafe highlighted the importance of instilling confidence, certainty, and predictability in the oil and gas industry.
He explained the pivotal role of the recently implemented Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which has spurred significant capital expenditure amounting to billions of dollars over the past two and a half years.
Speaking in Lagos after receiving The Sun Award, Komolafe underscored the effective discharge of NUPRC’s statutory mandate, which has contributed to the success stories witnessed in the sector.
The surge in Nigeria’s oil rig count signifies a tangible measure of vibrant activities within the upstream oil and gas sector, reflecting increased drilling activity and heightened industry dynamism.
Also, Komolafe noted that NUPRC has issued over 17 regulations aimed at enhancing certainty and predictability in industry operations, aligning with the objectives outlined in the PIA.
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