Ibom Air has said its passengers will experience flight delays starting this weeks due to scarcity of aviation fuel and the closure of the domestic runway at the Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos.
In a statement Friday, the Akwa Ibom State-owned carrier said the delays are “unavoidable” and will be for the next three months.
“The Management of Ibom Air regrets to inform the general public and our customers in particular, that despite our best efforts, our passengers will experience flight delays this period, due to two critical factors: The closure of the domestic runway (Runway 18L) at Murtala Mohammed Airport for the next 3 months and the current serious scarcity of aviation fuel,” the airline statement read.
The airline said it will try to minimise the impact of these factors on its flight schedule.
Within the past three months, major domestic airline operators have lamented about the sharp increase in aviation fuel and have threatened to halt operations repeatedly. The intervention of the Nigerian government, which promised to resolve the aviation fuel scarcity, has apparently not been felt.
The lingering scarcity pushed airline operators to increase flight base fare to N50,000 and above since February this year, with many Nigerians criticising the move.
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Ibom Air’s flight figures shows that the airline scheduled a total flight of 1,023 in June. Of this figure, it operated a total of 965 flights, rescheduled 234 flights, delayed 199 flights and cancelled 58 flights.
“Fuel availability is a major impediment to schedule reliability and on time performance in June,” the airline management said.