NINE operators under the aegis of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have announced suspension of their operations from May 9, 2022 following a rise in cost of jet A1 and other costs.
The airlines: Azman Air, Max Air, United Nigeria Airways, Ibom Air, Air Peace, Arik Air, Air Peace, Dana Air and Overland Airways made this known in a letter addressed to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika and copying the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Musa Nuhu signed by their owners and Chief operating Officers.
Overtime, aviation fuel price (JetA1) has risen from N190 per litre to N700 currently and the airlines have revolted stressing that no airline in the world can absorb the astronomical hike.
The airlines said with the current fuel hike, it has increased its fuel cost component from 40% to 95% in Nigeria and also affected the cost of a seat per head which should be at least N120,000 and appealed to passengers for understanding as the situation is currently biting.
The statement said, “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.
“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%.
“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.
“The latter cannot be fully passed to passengers who are already experiencing
a lot of difficulties. 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.
“AON uses this medium to humbly state that we regret any inconveniences this very difficult decision might cause and appeal to travelers to kindly reconsider their travel itinerary and make alternative arrangements.