Shortage of ‘Jet A 1’ Fuel Impedes Smooth Operations of Airlines
Several airlines operating in Freetown are currently finding it difficult to operate effectively and had to cancel their flights to Freetown due to the shortage of ‘Jet A 1’ fuel in Sierra Leone and other neighboring countries including Liberia and Burkina Faso.
Recently, Turkish Airline and Africa World Airlines announced cancellations of flights to Freetown and Monrovia due to the unavailability of jet A 1 fuel to refuel flights whenever they land.
In Sierra Leone, only Total Oil Company has the exclusive right to import Jet ‘A 1’ fuel used by airplanes. And according to the Petroleum Regulatory Agency (PRA, the said exclusive right is given to oil companies not by the government of Sierra Leone, but by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO),which provides set safety standards that should be fulfilled by any oil company that want to sell Jet A 1 fuel.
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In Nigeria, airlines threatened to shut down operations on the grounds that Jet ‘A 1’ fuel was too expensive.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions imposed by the West as a way of subduing Putin to back out of the war is extremely negatively affecting poorer nations, especially those that cannot produce oil. The prices of crude oil have skyrocket to the extent that it is affecting the cost of living in poorer nations wherein the earning of the population is very minimal.
Aside from the increase in price of crude, the product has been in short supply since Russia is one of the main exporters of oil.
Sierra Leone as a poorer nation and a non-oil producing country is caught in the trap with the prices of basic commodities soaring daily.