The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has raised fears that three airlines in the country may soon shut down operations due to the high cost of aviation fuel which has hit N714 per litre.
Allen Onyema, the Vice-President of AON, made this known on Tuesday while speaking at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria National Aviation Conference in Abuja.
Though he did not mention the three airlines, he explained that interventions by the Nigerian Government and the National Assembly have failed to resolve the crisis as the price of Jet A1 continues to skyrocket, Daily Trust reports.
Onyema who is also the chairman of Air Peace said, “If nothing is done concerning the cost of aviation fuel, the fuel crisis will take away three airlines in Nigeria in a few weeks.”
He explained that even though the fuel crisis is not limited to Nigeria, it was made worse by the depreciating value of the naira against the dollar.
According to him, Nigerian government had approved 10,000 metric tonnes of fuel for the airlines at N580 per litre in Lagos and about N607 per litre outside Lagos. He, however, said the carriers were yet to access it.
“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 realise 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.”
In May, the proposed strike action by Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) was called off after a four-meeting between airline operators and the leadership of the House of Representatives.