By Prince Okafor
Nigeria’s largest private airline, Air Peace has announced its suspension of flight operations from Nigeria to Johannesburg, South Africa.
The airlines noted that the suspension was prompted by delays in visa approvals and aviation kerosene, also known as Jet A1 fuel scarcity.
The suspension according to the company will last for 47 days, starting from August 22 to October 8, 2022, pending the outcome of the development.
It would be recalled that the United Kingdom flag carrier airline, British Airways (BA) last week, suspended the sale of short-haul flight tickets departing from Heathrow airport. Also, Emirate Airlines reduced flight operations to Nigeria over fuel challenges along with other factors.
However, the company in a statement made available to Vanguard expressed optimism that the issues which warranted the suspension would have been addressed before October.
It said, “We hereby inform the flying public that effective from August 22, 2022, our Johannesburg flight operations will be suspended till October 8, 2022.
“This development is regretted but has become inevitable due to the delayed issuance of South African visas to travellers, worsening forex crunch, and the increasing cost of aviation fuel as well as its scarcity.
“However, having informed the South African High Commission in Lagos of the effects of the difficulty in getting SA visas by Nigerians, which consequence is the abysmally low passenger loads on our flights to and from Johannesburg, we believe that the situation will have improved within the next 60 days. Hence, our willingness to resume operations on October 8, 2022.
“Passengers whose flights are affected have the option of rescheduling to fly before August 22, 2022, or from October 9, 2022. Passengers can also request a refund.
“We apologise for the inconveniences caused and will keep the public updated while we hope the situation improves.”