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Domestic airlines to suspend operations, as aviation fuel hits N700/litre

HARD TIMES await Nigerian travellers as domestic airline operators plan to temporarily suspend their services  effective Monday, 9th May, 2022 over high cost of aviation fuel which has hit 700 naira per litre.

A statement issued and signed by all the airline operators on Friday, 6th May, advised air travellers to make alternative arrangements to avoid being stranded at the country’s airports.

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 subsidizing their services to our highly esteemed Nigerian flying public in the last four months despite the steady and astronomical hike in the price of JetA1 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 appeal to travelers to kindly reconsider their travel itinerary and make alternative arrangements”, Alhaji  Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, President, AON advised.

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