Stakeholders in the nation’s aviation sector have asked the Airlines Operators of Nigeria (AON), to raise their ticket sales to meet current reality instead of shutting down their operations over the recent hike in the price of aviation fuel, also known as, Jet-A1.
This is coming against the backdrop of AON’s insistence of going ahead with planned shutdown of their operation.
However, AON, has said with aviation fuel costing 95 percent operating cost of airlines, a unit cost per seat for a one hour flight in Nigeria today will hit an average of N120,000.
The group said, “worldwide, aviation fuel is said to cost about 40 per cent of an airline’s operating cost globally, the present hike has shut up Nigeria’s operating cost to about 95 per cent. 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.”
However, AON, in a press statement made available to LEADER- SHIP yesterday said they stood firmly by their decision to shutdown operation, saying they were patriotic citizens doing all they could to protect the flying public.
According to them, shutting down operation was a collective sacrifice for the common interest of the nation, contrary to what some subjective schools of thought might suggest.
The AON statement read, “In the light of frantic developments within the last 24hours since informing the general public of our decision to suspend operations in response to the astronomic and continuously rising cost of JetA1,
the AON would like to state unequivocally that we stand firmly by our decision.
“Airline operators are patriotic citizens and we are doing all we can to protect the flying public contrary to what some subjective schools of thought might suggest. This is a collective sacrifice for the common interest of our nation, AON said in a press statement titled, AON remains resolute on decision to suspend operation.
The group, in the statement, further regretted the stance of Ibom Air to pull out of the collective decision, saying they AON, however, regrets the unfortunate position taken by one of our members, Ibom Air, not to stand by the collective decision. While they may have their reasons for doing what they did, it is pertinent to note that they
equally accepted in their statement that the JetA1 situation poses an “existential threat to the air transport industry in Nigeria” and that “the out-of-control situation is simply unsustainable.
“May we use this medium to clearly state that airlines are not on strike. We are private investors who do not run our airlines with public funds to be able to continue to pay upfront in cash at N700 per litre for Jet-A1 which
has increased our cost on daily basis to about 95%. This is totally unsustainable. And its consequences, if allowed to stay, will be borne by the passengers.”