Domestic airlines have announced plans to shut down operations from Monday, May 9 over the high cost of Jet A1 also known as aviation fuel. This was contained in a statement issued and signed by all the airline operators and released on Friday.
The airline operators claimed that they have been raising concerns over the rising cost of aviation fuel which is currently N700 per litre up from N190 per litre.
EnergyDay gathered that in February 2021, the product was sold at N190 per litre in the local market, but by the end of the year, the product rose to between N350 and N370 per litre in the local market, which was about 90 percent increase to the former price of N190 per litre.
The aviation fuel later increased to about N599 per litre in Abuja and Port Harcourt airport; N577 and N581 per litre at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, while the same quantity goes for N607 per litre at the Aminu Kano International Airport (AKIA).
The statement said, “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,” the statement said.
“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 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.”
“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,” the statement added.
The operators therefore charged the travelling public who intend to fly to make alternative arrangements to avoid being stranded at the country’s airports.