7th May, 2022
Airlines in Nigeria said they will suspend operations from Monday, May 9, over rising cost of aviation fuel, that now sells for N700 per litre, from N190.
Azman Air, Max Air, United Nigeria Airways, Ibom Air, Arik Air, Air Peace, Dana Air and Overland Airways in a joint statement Friday, made their plan known to the authorities.
This was done via a letter addressed to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
A copy was sent to the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Musa Nuhu.
The airlines said no airline in the world can absorb the astronomical hike in the fuel cost, which has increased its fuel cost component from 40% to 95%.
They also said the cost burden will make them offer a seat for about N120,000 for one hour journey.
The full statement:
It is with a great sense of responsibility and patriotism that the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have carried on deploying and subsidizing 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.
Overtime, 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.
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 travelers to kindly reconsider their travel itinerary and make alternative arrangements.
Alhaji (Dr.) Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina: President
Jointly signed by:
1. Alhaji Shehu Wada – Executive Director, Max Air
2.Dr. Obiora Okonkwo – Chairman, United Nigeria Airlines
3. Capt. Mfon Udom – CEO, Ibom Air
4. Capt. Roy Ilegbodu – CEO, Arik Air
5. Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood – CEO, Aero Contractors
6. Alhaji Faisal Abdulmunaf – MD, Azman Air
7. Capt. Edward Boyo – CEO, Overland Airways
8. Mr. Sukh Mann – Deputy CEO, Dana Air
9. Barr. Allen Onyema, Chairman, Air Peace
CC: Honourable Minister of Aviation
DG, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority