Air Peace, Ibom Air, Max Air, Arik Air, United Nigeria Airlines and four others are embarking on an indefinite strike on Monday, May 9, 2020, as the cost of the aviation fuel hits N700 per litre. Other airlines affected are Aero Contractors, Azman Air, Overland Airways, and Dana Air.
This was disclosed by the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) via a statement issued on Friday.
The statement, which was seen by Nairametrics, was signed by the President of AON, Abdulmunaf Yunusa and copied to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika and the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Capt. Musa Nuhu.
What Airline Operators are saying about the strike
It stated, “It is with a great sense of responsibility and patriotism that the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have carried on deploying and subsidising their services to our highly esteemed Nigerian flying public in the last four months despite the astronomical hike in the price of JetA1 and other operating costs.
“Overtime, aviation fuel price (JetA1) has risen from N190 per litre to N700 currently. In the face of this, airlines have engaged the Federal Government, the National Assembly, NNPC and oil marketers with the view to bringing the cost of JetA1 down which has currently made the unit cost per seat for a one hour flight in Nigeria today to an average of N120,000. The latter cannot be fully passed to passengers who are already experiencing a lot of difficulties.
“While AON appreciates the efforts of the current government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure air transport in Nigeria grows, unfortunately, the cost of aviation fuel has continued to rise unabated thereby creating huge pressure on the sustainability of operations and financial viability of the airlines.
“To this end therefore, the AON wishes to regrettably inform the general public that member airlines will discontinue operations nationwide with effect from Monday, May 9, 2022, until further notice.
“AON uses this medium to humbly state that we regret any inconveniences this very difficult decision might cause and appeal to travellers to kindly reconsider their travel itinerary and make alternative arrangements.”
Aviation Unions too to embark on a warning strike
- Also, three aviation unions, the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) will on Monday and Tuesday, May 9 and 10, embark on a warning strike. This is over the non-implementation of the Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustment which was negotiated in 2019.
- In a statement signed by their respective General Secretaries, Ocheme Aba, Abdulrazaq Saidu and Sikiru Waheed, the unions said despite their best efforts, the issue of the Conditions of Service of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMeT), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) as negotiated for upwards of seven years remain with the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC) and the Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustment remain unimplemented since 2019.
- The unions said the ongoing effort by the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the NSWIC to resolve these issues does not show any positive sign of achieving amelioration anytime within sight and consequently, they have no alternative but to embark on industrial action to press home their demands.
- They stated, “All workers in NAMA, NCAA, NiMeT and NCAT are hereby directed to embark on a two-day warning strike on May 9 and 10, 2022. Should the warning go unheeded, an indefinite strike shall be called soon afterwards.
- “However, workers in all aviation organisations including FAAN and AIB are hereby directed to support and operate with the unions to assure full compliance and success of the strike.”
In case you missed it
- Earlier in March, the airlines had notified customers of expected flight delays and cancellations as a result of the hike in aviation fuel, a development which impacted heavily on their operations.
- The NNPC had already commenced discussion with the airline operators on how they can be granted licenses to import fuel which is needed for their operations.