Airlines operators in the country will on Monday shut down flight operations in the country over the high cost of aviation fuel in the country.
Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) which announced this in a statement signed by its president, Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, on Friday, lamented that its members have carried on deploying and subsidising their services to the Nigerian flying public in the last four months despite the steady and astronomical hike in the price of JetA1 and other operating costs.
The body thanked the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for its efforts in the aviation sector but said the current realities on ground was no longer bearable.
“Over time, aviation fuel (JetA1) price 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,” the body lamented. “While aviation fuel worldwide is said to cost about 40 per cent of an airline’s operating cost globally, the present hike has shut up Nigeria’s operating cost to about 95 per cent.
“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.
“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 travellers to kindly reconsider their travel itinerary and make alternative arrangements,” the body added.