Amidst the ongoing strike by some Unions which has seen Arik Air close shop leaving hundreds of passengers stranded, the airline has been hit by another calamity: severe aviation fuel shortage.
Consequent upon this, Arik Air – Nigeria’s biggest airline suspended more than 55% of its domestic flights.
Elombah.com reported earlier that workers at the airline have also gone on strike in protest over pay and working conditions.
The flight cancellations will bring fresh misery to thousands of Nigerians trying to fly home for the Christmas holidays.
In a statement, Arik Air said it was getting less than half the aviation fuel it requires to maintain its service.
In light of the shortages the airline’s deputy managing director told the BBC the company had been forced to slash its schedule.
But other airlines are still operating and Arik’s business practices have been widely criticised in the past.
Nigeria’s aviation industry is chaotic – travellers are used to poor service – flight delays and cancellations are common.
But the recent fuel shortages appear to have been worsened by the country’s shortage of foreign currency required to pay for aviation fuel.
Despite being a major oil producer, Nigeria imports all of its aviation fuel because the country’s refineries don’t function properly.
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