Amid scarcity of aviation fuel also known as Jet A1, stakeholders have asked the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), to improve passenger facilitation processes at airports across the country.
In a chat with me, the secretary general, Aviation Round Table Initiative (ARTI), Capt. John Ojikutu (rtd), said fuel scarcity and weather report cannot be the only reasons why flights are being cancelled.
According to him, technical issues such as insufficient boarding gates and screening checkpoints to process passengers before boarding, especially when, more than one flight are departing almost within an hour can be reasons.
He said, “Technical hitches can be reasons for flight cancellations and delays. However, you must come out to show what these hitches are. These days you hear of fuel scarcity or high costs of fuel. My take on this is that there is more of high cost of fuel than scarcity, so long as the foreign airlines are not complaining.
“There could be delays also at airports where there are no sufficient boarding gates and screening checkpoints to process the passengers before boarding, especially when more than one flight are departing almost within an hour. FAAN needs to improve on these passengers processes facilities,” Capt. Ojikutu said.
However, in a travel advisory released by Air Peace airline to customers recently, the airline said scarcity of aviation fuel alongside poor weather in some destinations are causing flight delays.
The airline, however, pleaded for understanding from passengers, saying the airline was doing everything possible to reduce the impact on travel plans of customers.
However, an air traveller, Frank Meke, said his flight was delayed by over 2 hours while another airline had cancelled his flight over ‘engineering issues’.
” Ibom Air gave it to me today. From non availability of operating aircraft to scarcity of aviation fuel. Two and a half hours in prayers, wondering if Ibom will lift us to our destination. Air Peace gave me its own shocker for a scheduled Monday afternoon flight, to Canaan City completely cancelled due to ‘engineering issues’.
Blizzard kills 13 in Buffalo, N.Y., area
Ex-South Korea coach, Bento opens up on Ronaldo’s heated moment with Cho Gue-sung
Niger Delta Pageant To Screen For Peace, Devt Ambassador
“If you must travel by air this yuletide, brace for all manner of excuses. Just wondering again why flights to Enugu, Owerri and Port Harcourt do not experience the ’tale by moonlight’ stories from all the airlines?
“Good to know, no more fighting and breaking of service counters, Nigerians have given up complaints of poor services by our master servants, the local air carriers,” he said.
Also speaking, a travel agent, Lilian Ada, said one of her client missed his meeting because of flight delay by an airline.
She said, “My client who booked Enugu to Lagos, 10:30am flight is very angry because his flight was delayed yesterday and he missed his meeting.”
Another traveller, Chineye Onyekuba, also disclosed that she was delayed for over 4 hours at the airport before she could be lifted.
“What kind of weather? For more than 4hrs we’re still at the airport. Flight that was scheduled for 11am till now nothing,” she lamented.