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Nigeria’s largest airline Arik Air was forced to cut back operations Nov. 16 because of a fuel shortage. In a statement, the carrier said aviation fuel rationing began during the week beginning Nov. 7, causing delays and cancellations.
Arik Air, which operates around 100 daily flights, requires about 500,000 liters of fuel a day. As a local operator, it has been badly affected by the fuel shortage, which it said is the fourth this year.
A Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), warning about the fuel shortage at Lagos, was issued Nov. 12. Supplies are also limited at Abuja and Port Harcourt.
“As a result of the worsening aviation fuel supply situation, Arik Air has announced a further reduction in flights from Wednesday, Nov. 16, to cope with the fresh scarcity, and reduce the unpleasant delays and cancellations which passengers have experienced in recent times,” Arik Air said. “One of the airline’s flights to Johannesburg on Tuesday had to be routed via Port Harcourt to pick up fuel.”
The fuel shortage marks a further setback for Arik Air, which was forced to temporarily ground flights Sept. 13-14 because of problems with its insurance policy.
Arik Air serves 18 destinations across Nigeria and Africa using a fleet of 28 regional, medium- and long-haul aircraft, including two Airbus A330-200s.