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FG appeals to airline operators over Monday shutdown

The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika says, efforts are on to address the skyrocketing price of aviation fuel popularly called Jet A1 and prevent the total short down of flight operations in the country.

This is coming on the heels of the recent announcement of flight suspension starting Monday, May 9 by the Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, over the astronomical rise in the price of Aviation fuel at N700 per litre.

The Aviation Minister who stated this in a statement appealed 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.

According to him, as the Ministry charged with the management of the industry, they are 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.

“We also acknowledge that the airline operators are in the business to make profits while servicing the very critical sector that is not only the preferred mode of transport for most Nigerians but also the main international gateway to the nation”.

Mr Sirika noted that unfortunately, the issue of fuel supply is not within the purview of the Ministry and so the much it can do in the present situation is to engage with agencies, institutions and individuals in positions to provide succour to the airlines and this is already being done by the relevant team led by him.

He also assured Nigerians, especially stakeholders in the sector, that the Buhari administration remains stoic in its commitment to the creation and sustenance of an environment that promotes the growth of the aviation industry where major players like the airlines can operate in a profitable and competitive market.

Writing by Nosa Aituamen; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino