By Ismail Auwal
Airline operators in Nigeria have decided to shut down operations indefinitely from Monday due to the increase in the price of aviation fuel.
The airlines in a letter signed by the President of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina sent to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said the cost of operation had become unbearable.
“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,” the letter read.
According to Sarina, the cost of operations has reached over 95% following the hike in fuel cost.
He said passengers should no longer be subjected to hardship of increased fares.
“It is with a great sense of responsibility and patriotism that the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have carried on deploying and subsidising their services to our highly esteemed Nigerian flying public in the last four months despite the steady and astronomical hike in the price of Jet A1 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,” the letter reads.
He further noted that while aviation fuel is said to cost about 40% of an airline’s operating cost globally, the current hike has reduced 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 which has currently made the unit cost per seat for a one hour flight in Nigeria today to an average of N120,000, “ he pointed out.