Airlines in Nigeria have threatened to suspend operations due to the rise of aviation fuel, popularly known as Jet A1, to N700 per litre.
Their statement was made under the banner of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), which said that they have been subsidizing their services for the last four months since they are unable to absorb the abrupt spike in prices any longer.
The operators, speaking under the auspices of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), said that the situation is worrisome and unsustainable, and the airlines can no longer absorb the strain.
According to them, although aviation fuel accounts for around 40% of an airline’s operational costs worldwide, the current increase has increased Nigeria’s operating costs to almost 95%.
The AON sympathized with the passengers, stating that Jet A1’s operational costs have skyrocketed and that even a little increase in airline ticket prices would make life more difficult for its esteemed customers.
The statement reads, “it is with a great sense of responsibility and patriotism that the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have carried on deploying and subsidising their services to our highly esteemed Nigerian flying public in the last four months despite the steady and astronomical hike in the price of Jet A1 and other operating costs.
“Overtime, aviation fuel price (JetA1) has risen from N190 per litre to N700 currently. No airline in the world can absorb this kind of sudden shock from such an astronomical rise over a short period. While aviation fuel worldwide is said to cost about 40% of an airline’s operating cost globally, the present hike has shut up Nigeria’s operating cost to about 95%.
“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.
“To this end, therefore, the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) hereby wishes to regrettably inform the general public that member airlines will discontinue operations nationwide with effect from Monday, May 9, 2022, until further notice.
“AON uses this medium to humbly state that we regret any inconveniences this very difficult decision might cause and appeal to travelers to kindly reconsider their travel itinerary and make alternative arrangements.”