Nigerian airlines in Abuja have finally given up on suspending plans to ground all local flights. The announcement was made on the evening of Sunday May 8 by the association of air operators, “just a few hours before the entry into force of the decision”, reports the site of CNN. Initially, Air Peace, the largest Nigerian carrier had waived the suspension, along with Ibom Air and Dana Air. The companies Arik and Aero Contractors quickly followed, precise Premium Times Nigeria, before all the airlines announced that operations would not be halted as announced two days earlier.
Airline operators therefore gave in to pressure from the government, consumer protection associations and customers, when the soaring price of kerosene had pushed them to consider this extreme measure. Indeed, the price of fuel has increased considerably in less than a year, bringing with it operating costs, which have increased by around 95%, indicates the American site.
The Nigerian companies had announced their plans to ground local flights in a collective letter addressed to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), on May 6. The Minister of Aviation had then “begged” Nigerian airlines to suspend their planned shutdown of operations from Monday due to the rising cost of aviation fuel, “which went from 190 naira (0.43 euro) to 700 naira (1.60 euro) per litre”, noted Premium Times Nigeria.
Bloomberg also returns on the difficulties faced by the 23 Nigerian airlines. With this dizzying high in prices, they claim to have “subsidized” flights for four months.
The Russian war against Ukraine has caused “a massive disruption of energy markets”, notes the US business site. He adds that “The loss of 3.2 million barrels per day of refining capacity during the pandemic years doesn’t help either.”
Economic concerns abound in Nigeria, hit by dollar shortages. A very weak local currency, slow growth and rising unemployment add to the list of problems facing the country, adds CNN.