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Airline Operators Raises Alarm: ‘All Airlines In Nigeria Will Shut Down In 3 Days’

Airline Operators Raises Alarm: ‘All Airlines In Nigeria Will Shut Down In 3 Days’

Airline operators in the country on Monday said they have only three more days to fly because of the rising cost as well as scarcity of aviation fuel (ATK)

CEO of Air Peace and vice president of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Allen Onyema, stated this at the public hearing of the House of Representatives committee investigating the scarcity of aviation fuel.

Mr Onyema said the AON members may start charging Nigerians N120,000 per ticket for domestic flights and can only operate for the next three days before they shut down. He added:

“If we continue this way, the least ticket you will have is about N120,000. And the marketers have refused to tell us how much is the unit cost of their acquisition.”

Mr Onyema said if ATK marketers did not reduce the price of the commodity from the current N670 per litre, regulators should give the airlines licence to import.

According to him:

“What we are asking from the government is to give us the right to import aviation fuel. What others use in insuring one plane is what we use in insuring three planes in Nigeria, so the Nigeria airline is dead on arrival.”

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After about one hour of argument on the cost of aviation fuel at the hearing, the airline operators and marketers agreed on N500 per litre for the next three days, while they work on new price modalities.

The Group Managing Director of NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari, who announced the new agreements, said the request by the airline operators to import ATK will also be granted.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported the details of the first hearing on Thursday, where the panel, chaired by Deputy Speaker Idris Wase (APC, Plateau), asked the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority to work with all relevant committees to bring down the price of ATK.

The panel also summoned the ATK marketers to appear before the committee for hearing.

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The motion

On Wednesday, the Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation, Nnoli Nnaji, had moved a motion calling for investigation into the scarcity of aviation fuel.

Following the adoption of that motion, the House had mandated the chairman, alongside those of Petroleum Downstream and Petroleum Upstream to meet with the GMD of NNPC Limited, Airline Operators, Jet A1 marketers and others.

Hike in air tickets

Last month, major airlines in Nigeria hiked their fares by over 100 per cent. Some airlines now charge N50,000 flat rate for tickets. AON denied that the increment was coordinated.

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) had ordered airline operators to immediately discontinue the implementation of the new airfares pending the outcome of its investigation.

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