Air operators using conventional single or twin-piston-engined aircraft are once again up in arms over the fresh shortage of AVGAS, the “juice which makes our aircraft fly” as one of the contacted domestic airline executives said to this column. Only recently did a severe shortage come to an end, which curtailed flying and halted flying lessons, as airlines rationed the precious liquid to serve their regular commercial clientele.
However, no sooner had supplies been restored, Shell once more let the market run dry, again remaining largely indifferent to the plight of the domestic airlines and owners of private planes.
Shell recently announced that they would sell of their Eastern African distribution operations, and it is now alleged that although Shell has behaved badly in the past, the bottom is now dropping out of their service and care of their business, probably showing their true faces as they prepare to exit Uganda and the rest of East Africa.
One irate air operator has threatened to sue Shell for breach of contract, and predictably no comments were received from Shell over the repeat problems inflicted on local airlines. Shell dragged their feet in related matters such as the installation of a fuel storage facility at the Kajjansi airfield, which has been going on for years and now seems destined for “neverland,” considering that Shell is hardly ready or likely to pay for the completion of the depot now that they have declared their intention to leave the market place.
Said another operator from Kajjansi to this correspondent: “Shell is becoming completely hopeless. Our relationship is marked by broken promises and non-delivery of AVGAS. The sooner they go the better, as we hope a new and dedicated distributor of oil, lubricants, and aviation fuels will do better and have some respect for their clients.”