Just In: Airline operators call off planned shutdown of flight services
Air Peace

Domestic airline operators under the umbrella of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have called off their planned suspension of flights scheduled to commence on Monday.

A statement signed by the President of AON, Alhaji Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina and endorsed by other members said they have listened to the appeal by stakeholders and the federal government for them not to withdraw their services.

The statement read: ” 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,” the AON President said

Earlier on Sunday, Arik Air, Aero Contractors and Dana Air joined Ibom Air to pull out of the planned shutdown.

The AON had on Friday announced a decision to suspend flight operations from Monday.

Ibom Airlines Limited (Ibom Air), on Saturday, became the first airline to counter the AON’s proposed strike, adding that stopping operations will “make a bad situation worse”.

In a joint statement issued on Sunday, the managements of Arik Air Limited and Aero Contractors said they would continue operations, but added that they support the efforts by the AON to address the fuel price hike.

“Arik Air Limited (In Receivership) and Aero Contractors (In Receivership) wish to bring to the notice of the traveling public that both airlines will be operating all their scheduled flights on Monday, May 9, 2022,” the statement said. .

“Both managements fully identify with and endorse the efforts of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) to bring about a conducive operating environment for Nigerian carriers as the current price of JET A1 is unsustainable and could result in the untimely demise of most airlines.

“However, we have assurances that the government is looking at the issues raised by the AON and will come up with a decision that will be in the best interest of the industry and the traveling public.

“Passengers who are booked to travel on both Arik Air Aero Contractors tomorrow and beyond should proceed to their airports of departure to board.”

In a similar move, Dana Air also said it agrees with the AON on the effects of the fuel price hike, but added that the airline would not be joining the strike.

“Following the recent press statement issued by the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), it has become necessary for us to take a stand in the overall interest of our guests, corporate partners, staff and the industry at large,” the statement reads.

“While Dana Air agrees with the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) on all the challenges facing domestic airlines in Nigeria and have on many occasions actively participated in the collective and ongoing engagement of relevant authorities on the urgent need to tackle the many issues domestic airlines have been grappling with, which includes the skyrocketing cost of Jet A1, we have taken a decision not to join the suspension of flights in May 9, 2022.

“We acknowledge that the present cost of Jet A1 is unsustainable and should not be passed to the flying public. We, therefore, call on the government to act urgently to resolve these unending operational challenges, while Dana Air will continue to support every effort by the AON to achieve a quick and peaceful resolution in the interest of our dear country Nigeria.”

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