- Nigerian travellers may face the difficult choice of travelling by road this holiday season
- The reason is due to the hike in airfare by airlines which some say may hit N200,000 this December
- The development is due to the high cost of aircraft maintenance and aviation fuel which is selling for N800 per litre
Nigerians may resort to road travel during Christmas as airlines have increased the cost of airfares across all routes.
The development threatens to expose travellers to kidnapping and other forms of insecurity on the roads as the Christmas holiday draws near.
Agents speculate high cost of tickets for December
There are predictions by travel agents that some airlines may begin selling air tickets for N200,000 during the Christmas period as most airlines record a full load factor.
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Foreign exchange has driven up the cost of maintenance and spare parts, and most airlines have been forced to ground their fleet.
Airlines are increasing their airfare daily with fewer aircraft in the air as more tickets get sold out.
A BusinessDay report said the development is affecting the availability of tickets for the Christmas and New Year period.
Cost per route in December
Air Peace and United Nigeria report that their tickets for some Christmas holiday periods are sold out as of Thursday, November 16, 2022, which shows a passenger glut.
Per the BusinessDay report, Lagos to Enugu and Owerri tickets on Green Africa are sold for N117,000 and N130,000 from December 24 to 31, 2022.
Lagos to Owerri on Airpeace for December 18 to 23 and December 25 to 27 are sold out.
Tickets from Lagos to Owerri on Air Peace go for N150,000 on December 28 and may be hiked in a few days.
On United Nigeria Airlines on December 5, 12, 17, and 19 to 30 are all sold out.
Energy crisis hurts aviation industry
Nigerian airlines have struggled with operating costs, forcing them to hike ticket costs.
The energy crisis in the aviation industry started in late February 2022 and worsened from March to May.
The crisis has further exacerbated and is a threat to the continued operations of airlines, with the price of JetA1 rising from N200 in 2021 to N400 per litre in February this year. It is currently sold for N800 or more per litre.
No Nigerian airline in the list of 10 best performing airlines in Africa 2022
Legit.ng reported that with the Nigerian government's launch of a national carrier, Nigeria Air, attention has shifted to other national airlines operating in Africa, including privately owned ones.
Unarguably, air travel is one of the hallmarks of a developed economy, aiding global interaction, commerce and international trade.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) projected that the airline industry would make a massive comeback as economies worldwide recover from the debilitating effects of COVID-19.