BusinessDay

Domestic airlines to shut operations from Monday over fuel price hike

Domestic airlines operating in Nigeria have said they will discontinue operations nationwide with effect from Monday May 9, 2022 until further notice as a result of the fuel increase nationwide.

In a statement by the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), it stated that member airlines have carried on deploying and subsidizing their services to the Nigerian flying public in the last four months despite the steady and astronomical hike in the price of JetA1 and other operating costs.

In the statement which were signed by managing directors of Max Air, United Nigeria Airlines, Ibom Air, Arik Air, Aero Contractors, Azman Air, Overland, Dana Air and Air Peace, they disclosed that overtime, aviation fuel price (JetA1) has risen from N190 per litre to N700 currently, adding that no airline in the world can absorb this kind of sudden shock from such an astronomical rise over a short period.

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” While aviation fuel worldwide is said to cost about 40percent of an airline’s operating cost globally, the present hike has shut up Nigeria’s operating cost to about 95 percent. In the face of this, airlines have engaged the Federal Government, the National Assembly, NNPC and Oil Marketers with the view to bringing the cost of JetA1 down which has currently made the unit cost per seat for a one hour flight in
Nigeria today to an average of N120,000. The latter cannot be fully passed to passengers who are already experiencing a lot of difficulties.

“While AON appreciates the efforts of the current government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure air transport in Nigeria grows, unfortunately, the cost of aviation fuel has continued to rise unabated thereby creating huge pressure on the sustainability of operations and financial viability of the airlines. This is unsustainable and the airlines can no longer absorb the pressure,” the body stated.