Operators of airlines in Nigeria have suspended their proposed plan to shut down operations on Monday over the high cost of aviation fuel.
48 hours after they indicated they would suspend flights within the country, the operators through their umbrella body, the Air Operators of Nigeria (AON), said on Sunday they are suspending their action, because of intervention from the government.
Recall that 24 hours after they indicated interest to shut down flights, Ibom Air, owned by the Akwa Ibom State Government, broke rank and said it was not joining others.
But on Sunday, in a jointly signed statement by some directors and owners of local operating airlines, said: “The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) wishes to inform the general public that further to numerous calls from the highest echelons in government with promises to urgently intervene in the crises being faced by airlines due to the astronomic and continuously rising cost of JetA1, that the AON has acceded to requests to withdraw the action for the time being while we allow for a fresh round of dialogue with government in the hope of reaching an amicable solution.
“We have also reached this decision with the highest consideration for our esteemed customers who have been faced with uncertainty over the last few days and to enable them to have access to travel to their various destinations for the time being during the period of discussions with relevant authorities.
“In view of the above and in the interest of national economy and security considerations, AON hereby wishes to notify the general public that the earlier announced shutdown of operations on May 9, 2022 is hereby suspended in good fate pending the outcome of hopefully fruitful engagement with government.”
Those who signed the statement were the President of the AON, Alhaji (Dr.) Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, and the following;
Alhaji Shehu Wada – Executive Director, Max Air
Dr. Obiora Okonkwo – Chairman, United Nigeria Airlines
Capt. Roy Ilegbodu – CEO, Arik Air
Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood – CEO, Aero Contractors
Alhaji Faisal Abdulmunaf – MD, Azman Air
Barr. Allen Onyema, Chairman, Air Peace