The Airline Operators of Nigeria association has announced it will shut down its operations from Monday due to the rising fuel costs. That means approximately 225 flights by nine airlines are going to be canceled beginning on Monday. Let’s investigate further.
No more flights
In a letter sent by the executive directors of nine Nigerian carriers, the association Airline Operators of Nigeria informed it will shut down its commercial operations amidst the high cost of jet A1 fuel.
The letter was signed by Max Air, Ibom Air, Aero Contractors, Overland Airways, Air Peace, United Nigeria Airlines, Arik Air, Azman Air, and Dana Air. It was sent to the Nigerian Minister of Aviation.
From January to May, the aviation fuel price has risen from N190 (about US$46 cents) to N700 (about US$1.69) per liter, a nearly 370% increase in five months.
Globally, the fuel price has risen in 2022. According to the International Air Transport Association, the jet fuel price ended at US$174.4 per barrel, a 149.4% increase compared to the previous year.
The Airline Operators of Nigeria said,
“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 Nigerian airlines will discontinue operations nationwide starting on Monday 9, 2022, until further notice. At the time of publishing this information, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority had not yet issued a statement addressing the subject. The African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) also has not yet provided a statement on the Airline Operators of Nigeria’s decision to halt all commercial services next week.
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The Airline Operators of Nigeria have engaged with the Nigerian Government, the National Assembly, and Oil Marketers attempting to bring down the cost of jet fuel.
According to the airlines, currently, the unit cost per seat for a one-hour flight in Nigeria is around N120,000 (approximately US$289). This price “cannot be fully passed to passengers who are already experiencing a lot of difficulties.”
The Nigerian airlines appealed to travelers to reconsider their travel itineraries and make alternative arrangements.
Looking at the impact
According to Cirium, Nigeria has around 1,600 weekly flights operated by Nigerian-based carriers. On Monday, the country has 233 flights, of which over 95% are domestic services, connecting Africa’s most populous country.
Only Azman Air and Air Peace operate international flights, according to Cirium, having around 30 international services per week to Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Nairobi (Kenya), Accra (Ghana), Douala (Cameroon), Dakar (Senegal), Freetown (Sierra Leone), and Johannesburg (South Africa). Nonetheless, Cirium does not provide information on Max Air and United Nigeria Airlines.
Over the last few months, these airlines, “with a great sense of responsibility and patriotism,” have carried on flying their weekly services and “subsidizing their services to our highly esteemed Nigerian flying public, despite the steady and astronomical hike in the price of JetA1.”
Do you think shutting down all the flying services in Nigeria is the right way to address the topic of rising fuel prices? Let us know in the comments below.
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