PASSENGERS may have to pay more for flights if projections by stakeholders and experts hold true that the price of Jet A1 may reach an all time high of ₦700 per litre before the weekend and this coupled with the delays and cancellations which may lead passengers to seek other transportation means.
Airlines in the country are still at sixties and sevens over the monumental increase in the price of Jet A1 (Jet fuel) and are seemingly giving up as the product when available sells now at ₦620-₦630 per litre and above.
An operator who confided in our reporter had expressed fears that the way things are shaping up and with International oil price rising daily, the commodity may sell for ₦700 per litre.
This has sparked fears of a further price hike in air fares just weeks after airlines increased to their base fare to an average ₦50,000 for a one way journey stressing that as the situation stands cannot support the current reality.
The source argued that the product is being sold at cash at hand basis and high prices, making jet A1 cost above 50% of operational cost coupled with all the other challenges, stressing that this may be a downward spiral for the industry especially as people are yet to come to terms with the recent increase not to talk of another.
In an interview with Chief Executive Officer and Executive Secretary, Major Oil Marketers, Mr. Clement Isong, he hinted at market forces determining prices of tickets and making it available for those who can afford it.
He told our correspondent, “Either you are ready to subsidise or you allow the market to play itself. Market willing seller, willing buyer. Except you are saying there should be subsidy on Jet fuel, already on PMS government is spending trillions to subsidise, I don’t know it may be more. Now you want them to take a second subsidy for jet fuel for people who are flying
” If you want to fly, if you can afford it you may pay higher for the ticket price, and if you cannot afford it you may take alternative means of transport. That is what the market does and it’s no different from buying cars or buying food. You buy according to your pocket when you go to a food vendor.
“In the world, you really cannot hope expect government to pay for everything for everybody. No government does that, the Soviet Union tried to do that years ago and crashed. We have to come to terms that government cannot pay for everything for everybody and at that point is when you allow the market. When you do that you bring in efficiency, it’s just a market philosophy. Government can intervene every now and then…” He said.
As it stands airlines’ are putting out apologies on social media laddened with despair and uncertainty over the price or availability of jet fuel.
Max Air, Azman Air, Green Africa, Arik Air, Aero Contractors, Dana, Air Peace, Ibom Air have constantly expressed dismay at the situation but all at a loss when the situation will improve.