- Airlines operating in Nigeria have hinted that they may hike their fares following the increase in the price of aviation fuel
- The operators expressed concern about other factors, including foreign exchange volatility, and indicated that they might soon adjust their fares accordingly
- The development is in response to the surge in the price of aviation fuel, currently selling at N1,300 per litre
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Airline operators in Nigeria have indicated that they may be forced to adjust their fares upwards as the cost of aviation fuel surges above N1,300 per litre.
Obiora Okonkwo, the spokesman for local airlines, disclosed this recently and called for immediate government intervention to prevent the collapse of the aviation sector in Nigeria.
Forex problems, aviation fuel prices affecting operations
The airlines said that foreign exchange volatility and the surging price of aviation fuel, currently selling at N1,300 per litre, had disrupted the operational planning and stability of the sector.
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The move followed the unification of the different segments of the forex markets, causing the naira to fall sharply in the official and parallel markets.
The naira depreciated to over N1,500 per dollar in the black market and N1,474 in the official market recently.
Nigeria has struggled with prolonged dollar scarcity due to reduced oil production, which earns the country over 90% in foreign exchange.
The development has made it challenging for local airlines to raise enough Forex to run checks and maintain their fleets overseas.
The airline spokesman, Okonkwo, explained that the unforeseen rise in aviation fuel prices from N700 per litre and the rise in FX rates to N1,400 per dollar resulted in significant losses for local carriers.
Punch reports that passengers who purchased tickets in advance under previous rates are being airlifted based on the current costs, impacting the airlines’ losses in the revenue stream.
Businesses in Nigeria experiencing low returns
“We are making losses on factors that are beyond our control. We are not only faced with the problem of scarcity of dollars; even the aviation ecosystem is feeling the heat. Handling companies have increased the cost of their services, airports have increased their charges, and those that service the aircraft have also increased the cost. The monies for these payments come from the passengers who are already exhausted financially.”
He noted that many businesses in Nigeria are experiencing low returns, leading to a decline in the number of priced customers travelling during the peak and off-peak periods.
According to him, it is difficult for airlines to acquire new aircraft as owners have become sceptical of Nigeria’s risk.
The development comes after the airlines announced increases in airfares for the Xmas season, citing the high cost of operations and general inflation in Nigeria.
Another foreign airline commences operation in Nigeria
Legit.ng reported that Samuel Mogere, the acting Kenyan High Commissioner to Nigeria, has said that Kenyan Airways will begin daily flights to Nigeria as part of the plans to open up Kenya to the rest of the world.
The Kenyan envoy disclosed this at the Magical Kenya roadshow in Abuja on Wednesday, February 7, 2024.
Mogere said the new government in Kenya is set to unite Africa by ensuring that Nigerians travel seamlessly and daily to Kenya without hassles.
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