The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has revealed that the aviation fuel, known as Jet A1, has reached a record high price of N714 and about three airlines may soon shut down operations.
Allen Onyema, the Vice-President of AON, said this at the ongoing Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) National Aviation Conference (FNAC) in Abuja on Wednesday.
“If nothing is done concerning the cost of aviation fuel, the fuel crisis will take away three airlines in Nigeria in few weeks,” Onyema was quoted to have said.
He said while the aviation fuel crisis is not limited to Nigeria, it was made worse by the naira to dollar exchange.
“The Federal Government has given us about 10,000 metric tonnes of fuel at the cost of N580 per litre in Lagos and about N607 per litre outside Lagos,” said Onyema.
“The carriers are yet to access these 10,000 metric tonnes of aviation fuel which the government approved.
“This is not the only issue. Since the COVID-19 crisis, most airlines all over the world, including Nigeria, have not recovered from COVID-19, except those whose countries have injected so much funds to assist them. This is nobody’s fault. It just happened. The government has tried its best by giving us this aviation fuel. This aviation fuel can take airlines out, not only in Nigeria but everywhere in the world.
“Some airlines outside Nigeria have closed down because of the effects of rising aviation fuel. If these things are not addressed in Nigeria, it can affect the bottom-line of all airlines in Nigeria.
“We have come to realised that there is little or nothing the committee set up can do because this is as a result of foreign exchange and the price of oil all over the world now. The fuel marketers will sell according to what they are paying. The cost of aviation fuel has increased, even in London and every other country. Our own is worse because of the increase in foreign exchange.”
Onyema said that apart from passenger service charges and charges by the Nigerian Air Space Management Agency (NAMA), airlines pay 37 other charges to aviation agencies. Extra charges, coupled with the soaring cost of the aviation fuel, remains a challenge for airline operators.