Despite Government Appeal, Airline Operators Insist On Suspension Of Operations
This was contained in a statement by Alhaji (Dr.) Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina
President of AON and jointly signed by owners and representatives of Max Air, Alhaji Shehu Wada; Barr. Allen Onyema, Chairman, Air Peace; Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood – CEO, Aero Contractors; Mr. Sukh Mann – Deputy CEO, Dana Air; Dr. Obiora Okonkwo – Chairman, United Nigeria Airlines; Capt. Roy Ilegbodu – CEO, Arik Air; Alhaji Faisal Abdulmunaf MD, Azman Air.
According to the statement; "In the light of frantic developments within the last twenty four hours since informing the general public of our decision to suspend operations in response to the astronomic and continuously rising cost of JetA1, the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) would like to state unequivocally that we stand firmly by our decision.
"Airline operators are patriotic citizens and we are doing all we can to protect the flying public contrary to what some subjective schools of thought might suggest. This is a collective sacrifice for the common interest of our nation.
"Hence, may we use this medium to clearly state that; “Airlines are not on strike. We are private investors and we simply don’t have the money to continue to pay in cash upfront at N700 per liter of JetA1 which has increased our cost unbearably to about 95%.” It is totally unsustainable.
"AON however regrets the unfortunate position taken by one of our members not to stand by the collective decision. While they may have their reasons for doing what they did, it is pertinent to note that they equally accepted in their statement that the JetA1 situation poses an “existential threat to the air transport industry in Nigeria” and that “the out-of-control situation is simply unsustainable.”
"To this end therefore, we remain resolute in our resolve to find a lasting solution to this crucial problem of national emergency and once again use this medium to appeal to the conscience of our esteemed passengers for their understanding." the statement concluded.