The price of aviation fuel, also known as JET A1, has risen to N1000, the President of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Abdulmunaf Sarina, revealed on Tuesday, as they struggle with rising cost of operation.
Within Q4 2021 and the third quarter of this year, the price of aviation fuel rose from N180 to N1000. The price hike increased the cost burden of the airlines, as rise in dollar rate and scarcity of the US currency makes maintenance costly.
This has led to announcement of flight cancellation, as well as one of the domestic airlines, Aero Contractors, suspending its passenger flights. With the situation threatening the airlines’ and government revenue, stakeholders in the aviation industry met with the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on Tuesday.
Government has no immediate solution for Nigerian airlines’ challenges
During the meeting, Sirika told the airline operators that the Federal Government doesn’t have immediate solutions to the challenges the industry is facing, but stated that steps are being taken to help.
Sirika said repair of refineries, and the commencement of Dangote refinery are part of the solutions the government is working on. He explained that the reason aviation fuel price has skyrocketed in Nigeria is because the country is not producing the product.
The revamp refineries and the Dangote refinery will put an end to this, however, Sirika said there is no timeline for the completion of these refineries. Although he explained that the major challenges are beyond the control of the industry.
In the main time, the minister said the government will provide litres of aviation fuel to the airline operators.
“As we speak, the government is in the process of finding a permanent solution to this issue, and some of the solutions include: importation of the product at the appropriate price, accelerating the refurbishment of our refineries and also wait for the coming on stream of Dangote Refinery to boost the supply of the product.” He revealed.
However, Sirika said, “when you ask how soon, I wouldn’t know when Dangote will come on stream, I wouldn’t know how soon the refineries will be filled, I wouldn’t know when imports would become sufficient. But the government is working towards all these to happen.”