• Friday, April 12, 2024
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Airfare hike: Why we did not increase fares – Green Africa

Green Africa introduces fares from N27,500 for Ramadan

Green Africa, one of Nigeria’s domestic carriers, has said its quest to remain a value carrier, serving the Nigerian market has kept it from not increasing its base fare as other airlines.

Few days ago, almost all domestic airlines operating in Nigeria increased the cost of economy flight tickets for domestic routes from about N30,000 to a base fare of N50,000.

The airlines include Air Peace, Dana Air, Azman Air, Max Air, Ibom Air, and Arik Air.

At a meeting held in Lagos on Tuesday last week, the airline operators cited the high cost of jet A1 fuel, forex scarcity, inflation, high ground handling charges, cost of importation of spare parts among others as reasons for the increase.

But BusinessDay learnt that while most of the operators were in agreement that the benchmark for economy ticket should be pegged at N50, 000 to most routes, Green Africa, whose business model is that of a low cost carrier was not in total support.

BusinessDay’s checks show that a one-way economy class ticket on Lagos, Abuja, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Kano, Kaduna and Warri routes on Air Peace, Dana Air, Azman Air, Max Air, Ibom Air and Arik Air are N50,000 and above, but Green Africa did not raise fares significantly.

Oyindamola Fashogbon, spokesperson for Green Africa told BusinessDay that Green Africa is not a regular airline but a value carrier and what matters to the airline is first providing services at a very affordable rate, especially for passengers who want to travel light.

“For passengers who would be travelling without luggage, they can get a very affordable ticket. Those travelling with luggage can also get affordable tickets but would have to pay for check-in luggage,” she explained.

She said just like other airlines, Green Africa is also going through harsh economic realities but striving to ensure it maintains its core market value as being the most affordable, yet ensuring it is not running at a loss.

Read also: Why we raised domestic flight ticket to N50,000 – Airlines

“All hands are on deck at this moment to check our books and ensure we make some profit and yet remain a value carrier. We are trying to create a balance. We are trying to be fair to ourselves and our customers,” Fashogbon said.

The Airline Operators of Nigeria, (AON) have continued to lament over the tough operating environment, making it difficult for them to operate efficiently.

“JetA1 today costs above N410 in Lagos, N422 in Abuja and Port Harcourt, and N429 in Kano per litre and has continued to rise fast and steadily.

On top of the continuous rise in the fuel price, fuel supply is at best epileptic at several airports thereby causing delays.

Supply nationally is at best unpredictable and several times a day, airlines are standing, waiting for fuel to be supplied at airports across the country,” the airline operators had explained.

Another challenge of airlines is the unavailability of forex for spare parts and maintenance.

According to them, airlines carry out most of their activities in dollars which today sells for between N580 to N600 and is in short supply.

“Nigeria’s domestic airlines are in a ‘life and death’ struggle to secure the Forex they need to acquire their spare parts to maintain their aircraft.”

“This is a major influence on how quickly a grounded aircraft can be fixed and restored to its flight schedule, which in turn has a huge impact on the schedule reliability of the domestic airlines,” they said.

To cushion the effect of these challenges, airlines have resorted to fare increments.