Soaring fuel prices ground Nigerian airlines
The Airline Operators of Nigeria association announced that the country’s air carriers will halt all operations starting on Monday, May 9, until further notice.
“The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) … inform the general public that member airlines will discontinue operations nationwide with effect from Monday May 9, 2022, until further notice,” the group said in its release.
Nigeria’s domestic flights have been disrupted since March as some airlines also started to cancel internal schedules while others delayed operations due to the soaring cost of the airline fuel.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered a spike in the crude oil market, sending jet fuel prices soaring and hitting air carriers and airline passengers with sharp rises in operational costs.
The Airline Operators of Nigeria reported that the price of jet fuel rose from 190 naira ($0.46) to 700 naira ($1.69) per liter in Nigeria over a short period.
According to the association, the cost of a one-hour flight has more than doubled to 120,000 naira ($289.20), which is unsustainable.
The association said the continued rise in the cost of jet fuel has created operational pressures that put into question their financial viability.
Airline passengers in Nigeria pay for fares in naira, which has weakened drastically due to devaluations.
Fuel suppliers however are paid in US dollars – a scarce currency in Africa’s top economy.