Nigeria’s airline operators, represented by Mr. Allen Onyema, Chief Executive Officer, CEO of Air Peace, have claimed they can no longer afford the cost of aviation fuel.
This came after aviation fuel marketers failed to persuade the House of Representatives as to why the product’s prices were skyrocketing on a daily basis.
The airlines are currently purchasing fuel for N670 ($1.61), up from the previous price of N190 ($0.46).
According to him, an average Nigerian will spend N120, 000($288.95) on an economy ticket if they continue to fly. He also urged that the operators be granted permission to import the petroleum in order to make Nigerians’ lives easier.
He said ‘’…I have the mandate of every airline in this country to announce to you that if they can’t come down from their rooftops, we have only three more days to be able to fly. We are not threatening this country.”
“From what is happening, sir, if it continues this way, the least ticket will be about N120, 000 ($288.93) for economy and we don’t want to do that.”
After meeting twice in less than a week, aviation stakeholders set the price of aviation fuel at N500 ($1.20) per litre on Monday.
This resolution, however, would only be tested for three days starting Tuesday, during which time the airline operators’ association and the main oil marketers would meet and hammer out measures that would result in a permanent drop in aviation fuel prices in the country.
Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, announced the decision at a meeting of stakeholders with the House of Representatives Special Committee investigating the circumstances surrounding the recent price hike, which is chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase.
Passengers aboard Air Peace and Dana Air were reportedly stranded on Sunday at the Abuja airport for several hours due to a lack of fuel to fly the planes to their various destinations.
Last week, African Equity Media reported that Nigerian airlines informed passengers to expect possible flight disruptions due to the “prolonged scarcity of aviation fuel” and an increase in the product price.