Recent data by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown that Enugu, Kebbi, Bayelsa, Anambra and Taraba are states with the highest average prices of air tickets on a single journey for the 2022 December period.
According to the data, average ticket prices for Enugu and Kebbi were N80,500, Bayelsa and Anambra N80,000 and Taraba N77,100.
States with the lowest average prices include Abia N69,000, Niger, Benue, Lagos and Akwa Ibom N70,000 and Kano N70,100.
The average fare paid by air passengers for specified routes on a single journey increased by 1.81 percent on a month-on-month basis from N73,267.57 in November 2022 to N74,597.30 in December 2022.
Obi Mbanuzuo, chief operating officer and Accountable Manager of Dana Air said that airlines fix prices of tickets after considering variables such as cost of operation, level of competition, each individual airline’s strategy and how much the market can pay.
Read also: Nigeria eyes FDI with new 10MW Kano solar power project
For cost of operations, Mbanuzuo, said airlines fix prices with considerations on whether the aircraft is wet or dry leased or owned by the operating airline.
“Each aircraft model has differing maintenance costs based on manufacturers’ intervals for heavy or C/D checks. Newer aircraft are more reliable and break down less often than older ones and also have longer maintenance intervals (up to 48 months for B737 Max compared to 18 months for older B737s ) so the maintenance cost is usually lower,” Mbanuzuo said.
It cost about $3,000 to operate a B737 aircraft on a one hour flight when aviation fuel was less than N100 per litre.
BusinessDay’s checks show that with the current exchange rate and increase in aviation fuel which currently cost about N750 per litre, the cost of operating the same aircraft has increased by over seven times.
John Ojikutu, aviation security consultant and secretary general of the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative told BusinessDay that operational costs determine ticketing price.
The operational costs components he mentioned include fuel consumption for the duration of the flight which in itself depends on the engine type or numbers (one or multiple) propeller, turbo or jet; air navigation and control en route, terminal services like toilet and other airport convenient and safety services such as the runway landings, lighting and approach aids services; ground handling services, catering services, etc.