‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja
Daily Courier – Domestic airline operators in the country have reiterated their decision to suspend operations, in response to the astronomic and continuously rising cost of JetA1, stating that they stand firmly by their decision.
The airline operators under the aegis of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) in a statement issued Sunday, jointly signed by their President, Alhaji (Dr) Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, Alhaji Shehu Wada, Executive Director, Max Air, Dr Obiora Okonkwo, Chairman, United Nigeria Airlines, Barr. Allen Onyema, Chairman, Air Peace, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, CEO, Arik Air and others, also regretted the position taken by one of their members, Ibom Air, not to stand by the collective decision.
The operators stated that “Airline operators are patriotic citizens and we are doing all we can to protect the flying public, contrary to what some subjective schools of thought might suggest. This is a collective sacrifice for the common interest of our nation.
“AON, however, regrets the unfortunate position taken by one of our members, Ibom Air, not to stand by the collective decision. While they may have their reasons for doing what they did, it is pertinent to note that they equally accepted in their statement that the JetA1 situation poses an “existential threat to the air transport industry in Nigeria” and that “the out-of-control situation is simply unsustainable.”
“May we use this medium to clearly state that; “Airlines are not on strike. We are private investors, who do not run our airlines with public funds to be able to continue to pay upfront in cash at N700 per litre for JetA1, which has increased our cost on daily basis to about 95%. This is totally unsustainable. And its consequences, if allowed to stay, will be borne by the passengers; which is what we are trying to prevent.
“To this end, we remain resolute in our resolve to find a lasting solution to this crucial problem of national emergency, and once again use this medium to appeal to the conscience of our esteemed passengers for their understanding”, the operators added.