Nigerian Airlines to shutdown of operations over high cost of aviation fuel

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Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), an umbrella body for Nigerian airlines, said they will shutdown operations from Monday as a result of high cost of aviation fuel.
In a statement issued on Friday, AON said aviation fuel, also known as Jet A1, now cost N700 per litre, they are finding it difficult to operate.
The statement was jointly signed by the President of AON, Abdulmunaf Yunusa, the Executive Director, Max Air; Shehu Wada, CEO of Ibom Air; Mfon Udom, CEO, Aero Contractors, Abdullahi Mahmood, CEO, Overland Airways, Edward Boyo,
Chairman, Air Peace, Allen Onyema, Chairman, United Nigeria Airlines, Obiora Okonkwo, CEO, Arik Air, Roy Ilegbodu, MD, AzmanAir, Faisal Abdulmunaf and Deputy CEO, Dana Air, Sukh Mann.
The statement advised air travellers to use roads to avoid being stranded at airports.
The statement reads: “It is with a great sense of responsibility and patriotism that the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have carried on deploying and subsidising 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.
“Over time, aviation fuel price (JetA1) has risen from N190 per litre to N700 currently. 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.”
According to the AON, the cost of aviation fuel has continued to rise unabated, creating huge pressure on operations and the financial viability of operators.
The statement said, “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 travellers to kindly reconsider their travel itinerary and make alternative arrangements.”

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