BY JOHN OKOH
All domestic airlines in the country will on Monday stop flying across airports to protest the high cost of running their operations
In a statement signed by all airlines chief executives in the country, they said domestic airlines have been subsidizing air fares for the flying public in face of difficulties being faced as a result of unfriendly operating environment
Part of 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”.
“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 up Nigeria’s operating cost to about 95%.”
The operators noted that in face of the difficulties, 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.
“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 with effect from Monday May 9, 2022 until further notice”.