The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) on Friday informed the general public that it stations would be inoperative starting from Monday, May 9.
The operators in a statement said its decision was necessary following the unbearable cost of Aviation fuel, which has reached an all-time high of N700 per litre.
The AON stated categorically that the recent hike in aviation fuel has shut up operating cost to about 95%.
The operators said the development is worrisome, unsustainable and the airlines can no longer absorb the pressure.
The AON sympathized with the passengers, saying Jet A1 has shot up the cost of operations and that any slight addition in flight tickets will make life even more difficult for its esteemed passengers.
The operators stated this in a letter its President, Alhaji Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, sent to the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika.
Sarina’s position was endorsed by the chief executives of all the domestic airlines.
The letter read: “It is with a great sense of responsibility and patriotism that the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have carried on deploying and subsidizing their services to our highly esteemed Nigerian flying public in the last four months despite the steady and astronomical hike in the price of JetA1 and other operating costs.
“Overtime, aviation fuel price (JetA1) has risen from N190 per litre to N700 currently. No airline in the world can absorb this kind of sudden shock from such an astronomical rise over a short period.
“While aviation fuel worldwide is said to cost about 40% of an airline’s operating cost globally, the present hike has shut up Nigeria’s operating cost to about 95%.
“In the face of this, airlines have engaged the Federal Government, the National Assembly, NNPC and Oil Marketers with the view to bringing the cost of JetA1 down which has currently made the unit cost per seat for a one hour flight in Nigeria today to an average of N120,000.”
The latter according to AON cannot be fully passed to passengers who are already experiencing a lot of difficulties.
The letter added: “While AON appreciates the efforts of the current government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure air transport in Nigeria grows, unfortunately, the cost of aviation fuel has continued to rise unabated thereby creating huge pressure on the sustainability of operations and financial viability of the airlines. This is unsustainable and the airlines can no longer absorb the pressure.
“To this end therefore, the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) hereby wishes to regrettably inform the general public that member airlines will discontinue operations nationwide with effect from Monday May 9, 2022, until further notice.
“AON uses this medium to humbly state that we regret any inconveniences this very difficult decision might cause and appeal to travellers to kindly reconsider their travel itinerary and make alternative arrangements.”