Marketers blame rising aviation fuel prices and scarcity of late payments

As airlines continue to face delays due to the scarcity of aviation fuel called Jet A1, oil marketers yesterday accused some airlines of failing to meet their payment obligations.

The Managing Director and Executive Secretary of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr. Clement Isong, said access to forex is difficult amid rising international oil prices. Therefore, traders sell the fuel to airlines who can pay immediately.

“If you are a supplier and someone pays in advance and gives you money to pay and you have another one that needs credit, you would give the person who has money to pay in advance,” Isong said.

Daily Trust reports that domestic airlines raised concerns on Tuesday as the price of the Jet A1 rose to over N600, a N100 in 24 hours.

On Wednesday, United Nigeria Airlines apologized to its passengers for the disruption “due to the current Jet-A1 fuel supply situation at various airports across the country”.

The airline said: “We have worked to ensure an adequate supply of aviation fuel to maintain scheduled flight operations and ensure you arrive at your destination safely.

“However, our efforts have not yielded the desired results as aviation fuel has become scarce and supply dynamics have changed.”

Air Peace also confirmed in a statement the scarcity of jet fuel supplies, explaining that it had tried to minimize the effect of the situation on its passengers.

But the MOMAN boss attributed the situation to the rise of crude on the international market and access to foreign currency in Nigeria.

He also hinted that any airline that met its payment obligations to marketers would not face the challenge.

Isong said: “Some airlines will do better than others because they are run efficiently and poorly run airlines will struggle. The marketers who import this product are not hoarding the aviation fuel they want to sell but remember the sale is not complete until the money is collected.

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Elaine R. Knight