Jet fuel prices go through the roof; Nigerian domestic airlines to halt operations

The astronomical rise in jet fuel prices have come as a big blow to Nigerian airline companies

With jet fuel costs going up beyond control, airline companies in Nigeria have decided to put a halt on domestic operations, starting Monday.  A four-fold rise in fuel prices has turned out to be unsustainable for Nigerian airline players, and this has made them decide on grounding flights that ply across domestic routes.

It is being reported that the Russian military action unleashed on Ukraine has led to such a huge hike in prices of jet fuel. The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has been quoted saying in a report that it would be difficult for any airline in the world to withstand such sudden shock, as there has been an astronomical rise in jet fuel costs over a short period.

It needs to be noted that airline companies in Nigeria have had to subsidise services over the last four months, after the war began.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, imports jet fuel

AON, which is representative body acting on behalf of as many as nine domestic airline companies in Nigeria, has said that domestic operators have had to cancel flights and usher in delays since March owing to shortage of jet fuel supplies. Further, ticket rates too saw an unprecedented jump of at least three-fold rise in ticket rates over the past few weeks.

Significantly enough, Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producing country. However, it imports all it jet fuel. It pays for the jet fuel in US dollars, though the currency in circulation in the country is naira, which has been undergoing a lot of devaluation of late.

AON urges govt intervention

As the fuel price hikes cannot be fully passed on to the passengers, who are already been pinned down by crises, the Airline Operators of Nigeria has called upon the government, its MPs, the state-owned oil company and the association representing fuel sellers to act so that a solution to the worrisome situation can be addressed and prices pulled down. The government, however, is yet to respond to the call.

In the meantime, the AON has also urged the passengers to bear with the airlines’ decision that could extend indefinitely and make alternate travel arrangements in advance. The international flights, however, will not be affected, it said.

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