Airline Operators Withdraw Services From Monday Over High Cost Of Aviation Fuel

Ola ‘Kiya, Reporting

NIGERIA – The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), on Friday, said no commercial airline will fly out of Lagos, Abuja or elsewhere due to the persistent high cost of aviation fuel and its effects on the masses.

The airlines are Air Peace, Dana Air, United Nigeria Airline, Arik Air, Azman, Overland Airways and Aero Contractor.

They said aviation fuel cost about 40 per cent of an airline’s operating cost globally, adding that the present hike has shut up Nigeria’s operating cost to about 95 per cent.

In a press statement obtained by Stonix News, the president of AON, Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, said they couldn’t absorb the hike in sudden cost anymore.

“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 is said to cost about 40 per cent of an airline’s operating cost globally, the present hike has shot up Nigeria’s operating cost to about 95 per cent,” the statement read in per cent. 

The association said hiking the cost of flight per seat beyond the present N120,000 due to the rising cost of Jet A1 in the country would further increase the burden of the masses.

“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 absorb the pressure,” the group lamented. 

“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 travelers to kindly reconsider their travel itinerary and make alternative arrangements,” the airliners concluded.

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