Airline Operators in Nigeria are to suspend flight operations nationwide effective Monday May 9, 2022 until further notice.
In a statement by the President, Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, Alhaji Abdulmunaf Yunusa and jointly signed by nine operators attributed the shutdown of operations to the skyrocketing price of aviation fuel.
According to the body, while they regret any inconveniences the difficult decision might cause travelers, they cannot continue to deploy and subsidizing their services to the Nigerian flying public at the detriment of their business.
The AON President stated that, in the last four months despite the steady and astronomical hike in the price of aviation fuel which is currently N700 per liter, their operating cost has jumped up to 95% as against 40% globally.
“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%”.
Alhaji Yunusa explained that, despite different engagements with the Federal Government, the National Assembly, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation ,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, nothing has changed.
“The latter cannot be fully passed to passengers who are already experiencing a lot of difficulties”.
While appreciating the efforts of the current government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to
ensure air transport in Nigeria grows, the body says, 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”.
They appealed to travelers to reconsider their travel itinerary and make alternative arrangements as the suspension of flight operations in the country may not resume until the price of fuel improves.