Businesses that rely on airlines for movement of goods and operations have expressed their concerns over the effects of the rising cost of aviation fuel on their operations.
Aviation fuel scarcity, which has lingered for some weeks, has led to several flight delays and cancellations, leaving several passengers stranded and businesses also affected.
Seyi Adewale, chief executive officer of Mainstream Cargo Limited, a company focused on freight forwarding, customs import/export clearance, and logistics told BusinessDay that aviation fuel scarcity affects his business directly because the airfreight rates are increasing daily.
According to Adewale, his company has had to change invoices three times higher for pickup and door-to-door obligations coming from China to Lagos as an example.
“This makes us look ‘bad’ in the eyes of our clients and there is no guarantee that we will still not issue additional requests for more money. For clients we have locked-in airfreight prices, we have to find a way to declare ‘force majeure’ so that we don’t make significant losses,” he explained.
In addition, he said his company now has longer Turnaround Time (TT) days to receive shipments into the country, adding that what used to be guaranteed for a TT of three to five days is now five to seven days with no assurances that this TT will be kept especially from the 2nd part of the trip.
Adewale said he is reliably informed that in Lagos, aviation fuel marketers now buy products at N580/590 and sell at about N600. He said if nothing is done, this rate will keep increasing to the detriment of the passengers and Nigeria’s economy at large.
Stella Njoku, an event planner told BusinessDay that the flight cancellations and delays occasioned by the aviation fuel scarcity made her lose one of her clients.
“A top client of mine requested I provide ushers from Lagos to attend his event in Abuja. In a bid to reduce hotel costs, I had to book an early morning flight on Aero on the same day of the event, since the event was going to start at 11 am.
The flight never left Lagos airport until 2 pm. They landed at Abuja by 3 pm and before 4 pm, the event was over. All explanations to the client never remedied the situation. I lost that client to another event planning agency. I haven’t recovered from that tragic situation till date,” Njoku added.