DALLAS – Domestic flights in Nigeria will stop on Monday in protest of the rising cost of jet fuel, which has nearly quadrupled this year.
The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) says the hike in jet fuel prices makes operations unsustainable, adding that “No airline in the world can absorb this kind of sudden shock from such an astronomical rise over [such] a short period.”
The jet fuel price increases have been prompted mostly by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the end of February.
Unprecedented Jet Fuel Price Hike
According to GlobalAir.com, not only are jet fuel prices hitting a record-high spike but April 2022 was the first time ever that Jet-A fuel prices surpassed 100LL prices.
The company says that, in its nearly 15 years of tracking aviation fuel prices across the US, it has not seen such a tide turn at fixed base operators (FBO) when it comes to some well-established notions. The same could be said for global FBOs.
FBOs provide aeronautical services such as fueling, hangaring, tie-down and parking, aircraft rental, aircraft maintenance, flight instruction, and similar services at airports. The aviation data provider collects aviation fuel prices from FBOs throughout the US, with around 3,250 at any given time reporting prices posted within the past 30 days.
In a company release, GlobalAir.com President and CEO Jeffrey Carrithers said, “When you have been in the business aviation industry for as long as we have, you see all kinds of things. However, this is our first time seeing anything like this.”
Nigerian Subsidized Service Woes
According to AON, which represents Nigeria’s nine domestic carriers, the airlines have had to subsidize services during the last four months. Since March, there have been numerous flight cancellations and delays, which have frequently been attributed to a lack of jet fuel. Ticket prices have also increased on several routes in recent weeks.
Passengers in Nigeria pay for their tickets with the naira, the country’s depreciating currency. Fuel providers, on the other hand, must be paid in US dollars. Despite being Africa’s greatest producer of oil, Nigeria imports nearly all of its jet fuel.
AON stated that it had informed the government, MPs, the state-owned oil firm, and the gasoline sellers’ organization that something needed to be done to reduce costs. The increases could not be fully passed on to passengers because they were “already experiencing a lot of hardships,” according to the statement.
According to the BBC, the government has yet to respond to the planned walkout.
Featured image: Arik Air 5N-MJQ Boeing 737-800, City of Calabar. Photo: Daniel Gorun/Airways