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Aviation Stakeholders Warn of Flight Disruption as Fuel Scarcity Persists

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The Airline Association of Nigeria (AON) alongside other aviation stakeholders has warned of flight disruption due to the scarcity of aviation fuel otherwise known as Jet A1, the association noted in a statement released on Tuesday. 

According to the statement released by the spokesperson of AON, Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, the association fear that flight rescheduling or cancellation ahead of the Yuletide celebration seems very inevitable.

Prof. Obiora Okonkwo noted that prevailing indications are showing that the scarcity is already affecting the operations of airlines in the country.

The statement which warned against the recurrence of previous experience partly read ” The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) wish to inform the public of impending disruptions in scheduled flight operations due to the scarcity of aviation fuel, otherwise known as JET-A1, which reared its ugly head again in the past few days. The scarcity will no doubt force airlines to reschedule flights leading to late operations and, or, cancellations”. 

Investors King gathered that air passengers both local and international have increased ahead of the December festival. The increase in air traffic has however led to the hike in ticket fares. While air tickets From Abuja to Lagos on Airpeace have skyrocketed to an average of N70,000, fares to cities in the south-south states are as high as N120,000.

This increase in air tickets has often been credited to the scarcity of aviation fuel (Jet A1). In an almost unbelievable circumstance, two years ago, Jet A1 was sold for N200 per litre while the price currently stood at N800 per litre. 

Despite the challenging times ahead, AON however promised that the operators would do their utmost best to manage the situation and ensure safe flight operations, but pleaded for the understanding of the travelling public in the present circumstance. 

In addition, Prof Obaira also appeals to all necessary authorities including aviation fuel importers and marketers to resolve the issues surrounding fuel scarcity in the interest of public users. 

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Ethiopian Airlines Group Celebrates 78 Years of Excellence and Innovation

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Ethiopian Airlines Group, Africa’s leading airline organization, commemorated its 78th anniversary with a tribute to its rich history of resilience and innovation since its inception in 1946.

Led by its Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mesfin Tassew, and Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Lemma Yadecha, the airline marked this significant milestone with a special flight to Cairo, retracing its inaugural international service route.

Reflecting on the occasion, CEO Mesfin Tasew emphasized the airline’s enduring commitment to passenger service and servant leadership.

He highlighted Ethiopian’s journey from modest beginnings to becoming a pioneering force in African aviation, introducing numerous innovations along the way. Tasew’s sentiment encapsulated the airline’s ethos of prioritizing passenger satisfaction and continuous improvement.

In keeping with its tradition of community engagement, Ethiopian Airlines distributed Seasons Greeting Packages and Happy Fasting Messages to passengers, embracing the diverse cultural backgrounds of its travelers.

This gesture underscored the airline’s dedication to fostering unity and inclusivity among its passengers, transcending geographical boundaries.

Chief Commercial Officer, Lemma Yadecha, emphasized the airline’s mission to go beyond transportation, aiming to create a sense of belonging for all passengers.

By assuming roles typically held by ground and flight crew members, Ethiopian Airlines honored its dedicated staff and the countless individuals who contributed to its success over the past 78 years.

As Ethiopian Airlines celebrates this historic milestone, it reaffirms its commitment to service excellence and innovation in the aviation industry, promising to continue leading Africa’s skies with distinction and pride.

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Global Air Travel Surges by 21.5% in February, IATA Reports

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Global air travel increased by 21.5% in February, according to the latest report from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

This surge represents a significant improvement from January’s 16.6% growth and reflects increasing confidence in air travel despite ongoing challenges.

The latest report from IATA revealed that the surge in demand was accompanied by a notable rise in capacity, which grew by 18.7% compared to the same period in 2023.

This surge in capacity underscores airlines’ efforts to meet the growing demand for air travel worldwide.

One of the most encouraging aspects of the report is the notable increase in the February load factor, which soared to 80.6%.

This represents a substantial increase of 1.9 percentage points compared to the previous year, indicating a higher utilization of available capacity.

International demand for air travel saw a particularly robust growth, surging by 26.3% compared to February 2023.

This surge was matched by an increase in capacity, up by 25.5% year-on-year, leading to an improved load factor of 79.3% for international flights.

Willie Walsh, the Director-General of IATA, expressed optimism about the industry’s prospects in 2024, citing airlines’ accelerated investments in decarbonization and the resilience of passenger demand in the face of geopolitical and economic uncertainties.

However, he cautioned against new taxes that could destabilize the positive trajectory and make travel more expensive, particularly in Europe.

Industry experts have lauded the aviation sector’s resilience in attracting more passengers and expanding its capacity amidst challenges. Despite currency devaluation and soaring aviation fuel prices in countries like Nigeria, air travel demand remains robust.

Susan Akporiaye, President of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies, emphasized the sustained high traffic levels despite the challenges faced by travelers.

The global aviation industry is still on the path to recovery from the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Ministry of Aviation, the industry lost about N21 billion monthly during the COVID-19 lockdown. Analysts project that it may take until the end of 2024 for the industry to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels.

As air travel continues to rebound, stakeholders remain cautiously optimistic about the industry’s future trajectory. The surge in demand observed in February underscores the resilience of air travel and its importance in facilitating global connectivity and economic growth.

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Emirates Airlines Set to Resume Nigeria Operations by June 2024, Confirms Aviation Minister

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Emirates Airlines is on track to resume its operations in Nigeria by June 2024.

The news was confirmed by the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, during an interview on Arise Television on Monday.

Keyamo revealed that the Emirates’ return to Nigeria follows extensive negotiations and resolution of longstanding issues between the Nigerian government and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

He highlighted the pivotal role played by President Bola Tinubu in facilitating diplomatic efforts to mend relations between the two countries.

“The resumption of Emirates flights is almost happening. I just received a letter from Emirates confirming their readiness to come back,” stated Keyamo during the interview.

He further explained that Emirates Airlines had completed all necessary processes and was now awaiting the finalization of operational details before announcing the exact date for its first flight back to Nigeria.

The minister expressed gratitude for the collaborative efforts that led to this breakthrough, emphasizing President Tinubu’s proactive engagement in resolving the bilateral issues.

“Mr. President was the showman here. He made my job easy because he went there and had a diplomatic shuttle to resolve all the issues,” Keyamo noted.

The suspension of Emirates’ flight operations to Nigeria in October 2022 had left travelers and businesses grappling with limited connectivity options.

The airline attributed the halt to challenges in repatriating funds held in Nigeria, amounting to $85 billion.

However, following sustained diplomatic engagements and concerted efforts by both nations, the impasse has been successfully resolved, paving the way for Emirates’ return.

Keyamo’s announcement comes after a series of discussions with Emirates representatives, indicating significant progress toward the airline’s comeback.

 

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