Airlines ground domestic operations

Nigerian airlines are canceling flights as a months-long fuel scarcity has been aggravated by a strike disrupting fuel deliveries.

Nigerian airline, Arik Air is set to become official partner of the Nigeria Football Federation

The current scarcity has also seen vehicles grounded.

Chaos reigned at bus stations and Lagos' Murtala Muhammad International Airport as flights were canceled.

The fuel shortage started with oil suppliers demanding that the government pay alleged arrears of nearly $1 billion.

It comes as Nigeria prepares to inaugurate a new president, Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday.

The two largest domestic carriers, Arik Air and Aero Contractors, cancelled all their flights because of the scarcity of aviation fuel.

Passengers who thronged the Abuja airport with the intention of travelling out of the city were stranded as their flights were cancelled.

It was gathered that the situation may continue with the ongoing strike action by tanker drivers across the nation.

Speaking on the development, Arik Air spokesperson, Banji Ola, disclosed that the airline cancelled its domestic flights nationwide, but was still operating international flights.

He said: “We had to cancel our domestic flights because of lack of aviation fuel to run the aircrafts. Our international flights are still running. We had a case of an international flight to London travelling to Kano to refuel before heading for its destination.”

Also speaking, Aero Contractor’s spokesperson, Mr. Simon Tumba, said the airline’s flights were cancelled because of challenges in getting aviation fuel.

A statement from Aero said:

“Due to the general scarcity of aviation fuel (JetA1) in the country, the airline (Aero) will not be able to operate over 80 per cent of her domestic flights as scheduled.

In the last few weeks, the supply of aviation fuel has been very irregular, which has compelled the airline to cancel some flights. We apologise to our esteemed customers for the inconvenience they may have been experiencing due to flight delays and cancellations caused by the scarcity of aviation fuel.

We urge our customers to always check our website or contact the call centre agent to affirm if their scheduled flight will operate.

Aero regrets any inconvenience the changes will cause. All measures are being made to ameliorate the situation and revert to her regular flight schedule. We hope that the situation improves very soon.”

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