Planned shutdown of airline operations: Aviation ministry working to engage stakeholders – Minister

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Following the threat to shut down airline operations by the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) over high cost of aviation fuel, otherwise known as Jet A1, the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has said the ministry was engaging all relevant stakeholders to address the issue.

Reacting through a statement by his Special Assistant, Dr. James Odaudu in Abuja, on Saturday, the Minister acknowledged difficulties being faced by airline operators with regard to aviation fuel, which now cost N700 per litre, but regretted that Jet A1 wasn’t within the purview of the ministry.

The Airline Operators of Nigeria had issued a notice to the authority and passengers that their services will not be available from Monday 9th May, 2022, due to high cost of aviation fuel which they could no longer cope with.

The Minister noted that much as aviation is a critical sector, the Ministry could only engage stakeholders and institutions and individuals to provide succour to the airline operators.

The statement said: “As the Ministry charged with the management of the industry, we are greatly concerned about the difficulties being faced by the airline operators in the country in procuring aviation fuel which has resulted in spiraling costs in Air transportation in the immediate past.

“This is already being done by the relevant team led by the Honourable Minister.

“While the efforts to assuage the situation are on, we wish to appeal to the airline operators, even in the difficult situation, to consider the multiplier effect of shutting down operations on Nigerians and global travellers, in taking their business-informed decisions and actions.”

The Minister urged the Airline Operators to be considerate in servicing a critical sector like aviation, even as it is the most preferred mode of transport for most Nigerians, and also the main international gateway to the nation.

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