Arik Air has announced the temporarily suspension of its Dubai service operating from Lagos via Abuja from May 4th.
Arik Air which is currently serving 18 destinations across Nigeria as well 12 international routes including London’s Heathrow Airport and New York’s JFK Airport stated that its Executive Board took the decision to temporarily suspend its Dubai service operating from Lagos via Abuja with effect from May 4th, 2015.
The airline said a challenging wider economic environment in Nigeria as well as increasingly stringent travel regulation controls in the United Arabs Emirates (UAE) has contributed to the decision to suspend the service.
“Arik Air will continue to focus its attention on developing services in Nigeria and West Africa. Our present domestic network is fully developed with flights to most parts of the country; however we will continue to review our frequencies and fleet deployment strategy to ensure we continually match growing demand within and outside of Nigeria for air travel and also operate efficiently. Arik Air is committed in its pursuit to meet customer’s expectations through operating and investing in state of the art aircraft and puts great emphasis on safety and reliability. The world’s current attention on economic regeneration and development in West Africa sees Arik Air as a pivotal player in the redevelopment of the region”, the airline added.
Meanwhile, the airline has attributed flight delays and cancellations being experienced by Arik Air passengers in the last few days to the general scarcity of aviation fuel (Jet A1) in Lagos.
The airline said there has been short supply of the product in Lagos and this has led to rationing by the petroleum product marketers.
“Signs of the scarcity started manifesting on Thursday, April 23, 2015 when marketers were unable to meet the demands of the airlines, especially Arik Air which by volume of its operations requires a daily supply of between 600,000 and 800,000 liters of aviation fuel. The scarcity has impacted negatively on Arik Air’s operations as flights have had to be delayed or canceled in cases where the destination airport has no airfield lighting. In some other cases, flights were diverted to other airports outside Lagos where the product was readily available.
On Friday, Arik Air’s flight to London Heathrow had to go via Accra to take fuel. Also on Saturday, the same London flight had to go to Cotonou, Benin Republic first to fuel before coming back to Lagos for the outbound flight to Heathrow”, Arik Air noted.
The explained further that” in the case of the Johannesburg flight of Friday, the aircraft had to first go to Port Harcourt where fuel was available before proceeding on the journey. On Monday, the London flight went via Kano to take fuel.
Flying via other stations to take fuel has come at a great cost to Arik Air but the airline had to do this to ameliorate the inconvenience the scarcity may cause its guests.
Arik Air sincerely apologise to its esteemed guests over the inconvenience which is due to circumstances beyond the control of the airline.
The management of Arik Air appeals to its esteemed guests to bear with the airline at this critical time of fuel scarcity hoping that the situation would be back to normal in a short while.”