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More Pressure On Nigerian Airlines As Aviation Fuel Hits N900 Under Buhari Government

Airline operators in Nigeria are still groaning over the skyrocketing price of aviation fuel otherwise known as Jet A1 as the price hit N903 per litre yesterday, from N880 on Monday.

The development has put pressure on airline tickets with passengers paying as much as N200,000 for a return Lagos-Abuja ticket; while Lagos-Kano return is between N150,000 and N200,000 depending on the time of booking, Daily Trust reports.

Abuja-Kano flight on Max Air is between N74,000 and N100,000; while it is between N74,000 and N80,000 on Air Peace. Also on Max Air, Abuja-Maiduguri is N90,000 and Lagos-Kaduna on Azman Air for a Wednesday flight, N130,000.

A one-way Lagos-Abuja fare is now N80,000 and could be as high as N150,000 if the travel date is in 24 hours.

Air Peace return ticket from Abuja-Kano is between N140,000 and N160,000 and one-way, N78,000. A return from Abuja-Gombe is N150,000 and one-way, N75,000. For Abuja-Port Harcourt, a one-way ticket is N100,000; Abuja-Lagos, between N75,000 and N100,000.

Checks on Air Peace flight from Lagos to Enugu for Wednesday (today) showed that it costs N150,000 for a one-way ticket.

Checks by Daily Trust indicated that the fuel was sold for N880 per litre in Kano; N780 in Abuja and N740 in Lagos, according to figure obtained from operators on Monday.

But yesterday, the fear of the operators heightened as a litre was sold for N903 in the North.

It was learnt that it was usually more expensive up North due to the additional cost of bridging incurred by marketers from Lagos.

It would be recalled that the product which was sold for a little above N200 per litre in 2021 hit over N600 this year and it had recorded a steady rise forcing the airlines to adjust their fares and peg a one-way cheapest ticket to N50,000 early in the year amidst grumbling from passengers.

Following a further rise in the price of Jet A1, the operators under the aegis of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) had threatened to shut down operation on Monday May 9.

The House of Representatives had later summoned relevant agencies of government involved in fuel supply value chain, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), among others.

There was a resolution for an interrupted supply of fuel to airlines over the next three months with the CBN committing to supply foreign exchange to marketers while there was another long term resolution to allow willing airlines to import jet fuel into the country.

However, months after the intervention of the National Assembly, there is no respite yet as none of the resolutions agreed upon has been implemented.

Operators said the situation had continued to exacerbate under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government, threatening the survival of domestic airlines.

At the moment, two domestic operators have temporarily shut down operations citing partially the challenges posed by the skyrocketing Jet fuel price while Air Peace also cited the issue of fuel as a major reason for the suspension of its international flight to Johannesburg, South Africa.

One of the airline operators, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said the supply is steady at the moment, but the price is on a sharp increase.

“We can say the supply is better now, but the price is still on the increase as I am talking to you, we are just trying to break even and price our tickets appropriately,” he said.

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