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Lagos airport runway closure has caused major increase in operation cost  –Uriesi, Ibom Air boss – VELOXNEWS


By Chinelo Obogo

 

Managing Director of Ibom Air, George Uriesi, has said that the closure of  18L and 36R runway of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos for repairs and installation of runway lights has caused a major increase in the operation cost of domestic airlines.

 

Speaking at the 26th annual conference of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) which held in Lagos recently, Uriesi said the closure of the runway and the scarcity of aviation fuel has made survival very tough for airlines.

 

He said every day, they wake up to a new price regime which makes operations even tougher, but urged the Federal Government to ensure a steady supply of fuel to situation stablises.

 

“The closure of the runway is a major cause of additional cost of operations for us and on how airlines are coping with the cost of fuel, so far, it has been very tough but what else can I say? We survive from day to day but we are coping even though it is very tough.  Every day you wake up to a new price regime. Today it is over N900 per litre and the next day, it is less. But we just keep going,” he said.

 

Speaking on the 10,000 metric tonnes of aviation fuel that the Federal Government reportedly made available to airlines and if they have been able to access it, Uriesi said: “It ameliorates the problem but just for a while and it finishes, so the challenge is how long this can be sustained. It gives us fuel at a slightly reduced price from the crazy everyday price. But when that supply is exhausted, what do we do? Our hope is that they continue to supply until the situation stablises.”

 

Last month, Nigerian airlines warned that there would be more flight delays due to aviation fuel scarcity and the closure of the Murtala Muhammed Airport runway 18L on July 8.  Ibom Air told its passengers that theywill experience flight delays due to the closure of the runway and the scarcity of aviation fuel. The airline however said that it would continue to mitigate the impact caused both factors but appealed for patience from passengers.

 

“The management of Ibom Air regrets to inform the general public and our customers in particular, that despite our best efforts, our passengers will experience flight delays this period, due to two critical factors: The closure of the domestic runway (Runway 18L) at Murtala Mohammed Airport for the next 3 months and the current serious scarcity of aviation fuel.

 

“Both factors have resulted in our operations being delayed more often than not. Ibom Air will continue to invest our best efforts to ensure that we minimize the impact of these factors on our flight schedule,” the airline said on Friday, July 15.

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