Aviation fuel hits N1,300, airlines may raise fares

Airline operators have implied that they may be forced to review fares upward as the aviation fuel surged to above N1300.

This was made known in a statement on Friday by the spokesman of local airlines, Obiora Okonkwo, who called for immediate government intervention to prevent the collapse of local airlines.

The airlines said that the volatility in foreign exchange rates and the soaring cost of aviation fuel at N1,300 per litre had disrupted operational planning and stability within the aviation sector.

The Central Bank of Nigeria on June 14, 2023, unified the different segments of the forex market, causing the naira to depreciate significantly at both the official and the autonomous markets.

The local currency weakened to over 1,500/$ at the parallel on Wednesday and exchanged 1474.62/$ at the official market on Thursday.

The country has been struggling with lingering dollar scarcity due to reduced oil production, which brings in over 90 per cent of the country’s dollars.

This has made it difficult for local carriers to raise enough foreign exchange to run checks and conduct comprehensive maintenance of their fleets overseas.

Okonkwo, who also chairs United Nigeria Airlines, explained that the unforeseen increase in aviation fuel prices from N700 per litre and the rise in the exchange rate to 1,400/$ had resulted in significant losses for airlines.

“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 of their services. The monies for these payments are coming from the passengers who are already exhausted financially,” he said.



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