The price of flying in Nigeria is set to increase significantly, as the aviation sector faces a double challenge of rising fuel costs and foreign exchange rates. This is the prediction of some aviation experts, who spoke to LEADERSHIP newspaper.
They said that the price of aviation fuel, also known as Jet A1, has reached N1,000 per liter, which accounts for 70 percent of the operating costs of airlines, compared to 40 percent before the global energy crisis.
They also said that the websites of local airlines show that the fares for one-way and return tickets have gone up to between N95,000 and N220,000, depending on the time of booking.
One of the experts, Daisi Olotu, who is the former national financial secretary of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agency (NANTA), said that the fares will be reviewed upwards again, as the Jet A1 crisis persists.
He said that the passengers will suffer the most, as they will have to pay more to travel to their destinations. He also accused the local airlines of exploiting the situation to hike their fares arbitrarily.
He blamed the government for not finding solutions to the rising foreign exchange rates, which affect the prices of commodities, including airfare. He said that if the government does not intervene, things will keep getting worse.
He added that the passengers have no choice but to fly, because of the insecurity in the country that makes road transport very risky. He said that the local travel market is struggling, and there is no alternative mode of transportation available.
Another expert, Chris Aligbe, who is the chief executive officer of Belujane Konzult and a former spokesman of the defunct Nigerian Airways, said that the Jet A1 price will have a terrible impact on airline operations.
He said that Jet A1 is the main factor in airline costs, and when it goes up, the airlines will be in trouble. He said that they will either pass on the cost to the passengers or go out of business.
He said that the aviation sector is not different from other sectors of the economy, and they are all affected by the same problems. He said that Jet A1 is essential for aviation, and its high price will hurt domestic airlines.
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