Airlines to withdraw services on Monday over high cost of aviation fuel

Airlines to withdraw services on Monday over high cost of aviation fuel

Following a surge in the cost of aircraft A1 and other factors, the Nigerian Airlines Operators have stated that they will cease operations on Monday, May 9.

Azman Air, Max Air, United Nigeria Airways, Ibom Air, Arik Air, Air Peace, Dana Air, and Overland Airways informed the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, in a letter addressed to him and copied to the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Musa Nuhu.

The price of aviation fuel (JetA1) has jumped from N190 to N700 per litre, and airlines have protested, also claiming that no airline in the world can afford the enormous increase.

The airlines appealed to passengers for understanding as the situation is currently biting.

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. This is despite the steady and astronomical hike in the price of JetA1 and other operating costs.

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“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 shock from such a 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. This 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. This is 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.”

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