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Airline operators suspend planned shutdown – as FG intervenes

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has suspended its plan to shut down flight operations across the country.

The AON had, on Friday, announced its decision to stop operations from Monday over the hike in the price of aviation fuel.

Earlier on Sunday, the association said it would not back down on its decision to suspend operations.

Ibom Air, Aero Contractors, Dana Air and Arik Air had, however, said they would continue operations as usual.

In another statement issued on Sunday evening, the AON said the decision to suspend the planned shutdown was taken after “numerous calls from the highest echelons in government”.

The association said the federal government promised urgent intervention, adding that the suspension of the operation shutdown would be followed by dialogue.

“The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) wishes to inform the general public that further to numerous calls from the highest echelons in government with promises to urgently intervene in the crises being faced by airlines due to the astronomic and continuously rising cost of JetA1, that the AON has acceded to requests to withdraw the action for the time being while we allow for a fresh round of dialogue with government in the hope of reaching an amicable solution,” the statement reads.

“We have also reached this decision with the highest consideration for our esteemed customers who have been faced with uncertainty over the last few days and to enable them to have access to travel to their various destinations for the time being during the period of discussions with relevant authorities.

“In view of the above and in the interest of national economy and security considerations, AON hereby wishes to notify the general public that the earlier announced shutdown of operations on May 9, 2022 is hereby suspended in good fate pending the outcome of hopefully fruitful engagement with government.”

Signatories to the statement included Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, AON president; Shehu Wada, executive director, Max Air; Obiora Okonkwo, chairman, United Nigeria Airlines; Roy Ilegbodu, chief executive officer (CEO), Arik Air; Abdullahi Mahmood, CEO, Aero Contractors; Faisal Abdulmunaf, managing director, Azman Air; and Allen Onyema, chairman of Air Peace.


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