The total revenue generated by two of the major oil marketing companies in the country from the sale of aviation fuel plunged by 58.1 per cent in the first half of the year, compared with the same period of 2019.

The decline has been attributed to the closure of the nation’s airports. The airports were closed on March 23 to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country but the Federal Government started reopening on July 8.

The oil companies, Total Nigeria Plc and MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, witnessed their combined aviation fuel revenue for the period ended June 30 decline by N9.6bn to N6.9bn from N16.5bn in H1 2019.

Total Nigeria, a subsidiary of a French oil major, Total, recorded a loss of N537.19m in the first half of the year compared to a profit after tax of N129.97m in the same period of 2019.

Its revenue fell by 29 per cent to N106.70bn from N150.83bn.

MRS Oil Nigeria Plc made a loss of N329.71m in the first half of the year, compared to N990.71m loss in H1 2019. The company saw its revenue drop to N23.68bn from N29.79bn.

The company’s aviation fuel revenue declined by 46.8 per cent to N1.5bn in H1 2020 from the N2.9bn recorded in the H1 2019.

Aviation fuel revenue accounted for five per cent of Total Nigeria’s revenue in H1 2020, down from eight per cent in H1 2019.

The company’s aviation fuel revenue tumbled by 60.6 per cent to N5.3bn in H1 2020 from the N13.5bn recorded in H1 2019.

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The nation’s aviation sector has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused significant pay cuts and job losses.

Recently, over 70 pilots were sacked by Air Peace while Bristow Helicopters fired over 100 pilots and engineers.

Ground handling companies have also taken a beating, with the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc recording a loss after tax of N143m for H1 2020, as against a profit after tax of N467m in the corresponding period of 2019.

Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc saw its profit after tax slump by 93.3 per cent to N11.4m in H1 2020 from N171.5m in the corresponding period of 2019.

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