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Aviation fuel hits N700 per litre
Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has again issued a threat to down tools next week over the astronomical rise in the price of Jet A1 otherwise known as aviation fuel.
The operators had two months ago issued a similar threat to Nigerians; a situation that prompted the National Assembly to wade into what would have led to a major crisis in the aviation industry.
This time around, the group said no commercial airline will fly out of Lagos, Abuja, or any saying they can’t absorb the hike in sudden cost anymore.
The airlines that threatened to shut operations are Dana, Azman, Arik, Air Peace, Dana Air, United Nigeria Airline, Overland Airways, and Aero Contractor.
According to them, while aviation fuel costs about 40 percent of an airline’s operating cost globally, the present hike has shut up Nigeria’s operating cost to about 95 percent.
In a press statement on Friday and a copy made available to journalists the president of AON, Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, said they can’t absorb the hike in sudden cost anymore.
The airlines are Air Peace, Dana Air, United Nigeria Airline, Arik Air, Azman, Overland Airways, and Aero Contractor. 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.”
“Over time, 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%.”
According to AON, the cost of a seat on a plane is N120,000 due to the rising cost of Jet A1 in the country.
“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 afford it”.