Nigeria’s oldest airline, Aero Contractors, has temporarily suspended operations over economic crisis.
Easitimes reports that airlines in Nigeria have been lamenting the skyrocketing price and scarcity of aviation fuel, Jet A1, with many of them threatening to shut down.
In the statement announcing the suspension, the airline said the suspension of operation would take effect on July 20.
However, the statement said the temporary halting of operations “does not in any way affect the maintenance activities of the Approved Maintenance Organisation otherwise known as AeroMRO, the Approved Training Organisation also known as Aero Training School, the Helicopter and Charter Services operations.”
“This decision was carefully considered and taken due to the fact that most of our aircrafts are currently undergoing Maintenance, resulting in our inability to offer a seamless and efficient service to our esteemed customers.”
“We are working to bring these aircrafts back to service in the next few weeks, so we can continue to offer our passengers the safe, efficient, and reliable services that Aero Contractors is known for, which is the hallmark of Aero Contractors Company of Nig. Ltd.
“The past few months have been very challenging for the Aviation Industry and the airline operators in particular. With the high cost of maintenance, skyrocketing fuel prices, inflation, and forex scarcity resulting in high foreign exchange rates. These are among the major components of airline operations.
“In the meantime, we are working assiduously to return to service as quickly as possible, and do assure our esteemed customers and stakeholders of our determination, that our short absence will not create any major void in the market, as we are coordinating with our business partners to ensure minimum discomfort to ticket holders.
“As members of Spring Alliance (a commercial alliance with member airlines providing mutual support in the area of operations), we are liaising with our partner airlines to minimise the impact on our esteemed customers.
“Our customer service team will be working to help affected esteemed customers reach their destinations.
“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused to our esteemed customers and promise to return to service as soon as possible. “We thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding at this time.”
This announcement comes just over a month after the Airline Operators of Nigeria recently asserted that three of its members may cease operations due to the unavailable and high prices of Jet A1 among other challenges airlines have had to face so far in the new year.