Aviation fuel rises to N900 per litre as Lagos-Abuja ticket sells for N100,000

The price of aviation fuel has risen from N800 per litre some weeks ago to N900 per litre in some states, forcing airlines to raise fares to as high as N100,000 and more for one-way economy class tickets.

Aviation fuel crisis which began in late February and deteriorated further through the months of March to May, has further worsened and is currently threatening the ability of airlines to continue operations with the price of JetA1 rising from N200 in December 2021 to over N400 per litre in February and to N800 in July. Currently, the price has skyrocketed to over N800 per litre.

Currently the cost of a return ticket from Lagos to Abuja ranges from N160,000 to N250,000 depending on the airline and the time of booking.

A one-way Abuja-Kano flight on Max Air and Air Peace costs between N80,000 to N100,000, while a Lagos to Kaduna one-way economy class ticket costs between N100,000 to N150,000 depending on the time of booking.

BusinessDay’s checks show that currently, despite reducing number of aircraft, airlines are facing low patronage across various routes as a result of increase in air fares.

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Sindy Foster, principal managing partner, Avaero Capital Partners who is also a regular traveller told BusinessDay that airlines are left with no choice but to increase prices to not only be able to afford to purchase fuel, but also to be able to afford to buy dollars at the parallel market rates which is currently the only source of dollars (in a similar way which the foreign airlines have increased fares to compensate for divergent forex rates).

John Ojikutu, aviation security consultant and Secretary General of the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI) told BusinessDay that the high rise in fuel prices did not start today nor did it start earlier than five years ago but about 12/15 years ago and Aero being the oldest airline after the Nigeria Airways should know better than the rest.

“Aero should know the benefits in fuel prices it enjoyed in the 80s and early 90s when fuel was being refined in Nigeria as against today and 15 years ago when fuel was being imported into the country,” Ojikutu said.

He explained that the prices have been irregularly increased almost monthly in spite of what the government called subsidies to the fuel marketers.

“Within a year, it has quadrupled from N200/ltr to N800/ltr. 1.3m barrels per day is what we are being told that are exported out of a production of 2.3m barrels produced per day; what happens to the balance of one million barrels? Those in the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should explain,” Ojikutu added.

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