Airline operators to shut down flight operations May 9 over hike in aviation fuel


Airline operators say they will shut down operations on Monday, May 9, due to the high cost of aviation fuel and other operational costs.

The information was conveyed in a letter addressed to the Minister of Aviation, Sadi Sirika, and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, on Friday in Lagos.

The letter was signed by Serina Abdulmunaf, President, Airline Operators Association.

He noted that over time, aviation fuel price (JetA1) had risen from N190 per litre to N700 currently, and described the rise as “astronomical”

“While aviation fuel worldwide is said to constitute about 40 per cent of an airline’s operating cost globally, the present hike has shot up Nigeria’s operating cost to about 95 per cent.

“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, to no success,” he said.

He said that the situation had made the unit cost per seat for a one hour flight in Nigeria to an average of N120,000.

Abdulmunaf regretted that the cost of aviation fuel had continued to rise unabated thereby creating huge pressure on the sustainability of operations and financial viability of the airlines.

“This situation is unsustainable and the airlines can no longer absorb the pressure.”

The president, however, appealed to travellers to kindly reconsider their travel itinerary and make alternative arrangements.

Abdulmunaf, however, said that the members appreciate the efforts of the current government to boost the growth of air transport in the country, and regretted the inconveniences the “very difficult decision may cause our customers”