There is no end in sight to the crisis over aviation fuel known as Jet A1 as the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has raised fears that three airlines may soon shut down operations.
Though the three airlines were not mentioned, the Vice-President of AON, Mr. Allen Onyema, confirmed that the fuel price has now hit an all-time high of N714 per litre.
Daily Trust reports that several interventions by the Federal Government and the National Assembly have failed to resolve the crisis as the price of Jet A1 continues to skyrocket.
In his presentation at the ongoing Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) National Aviation Conference (FNAC) in Abuja, Onyema said while the aviation fuel crisis is not limited to Nigeria, it was made worse by the naira to dollar exchange.
He disclosed that in order to address the challenge, the Federal Government had approved 10,000 metric tonnes of aviation fuel to the airlines but said the carriers were yet to access it.
He noted that 16 months ago, the price of aviation fuel was about N200 per litre but has risen to over N700 per litre today in the local market.
He said: “That is why we ran to the government and the Federal Government has given us about 10,000 metric tonnes of fuel at the cost of N580 per litre in Lagos and about N607 per litre outside Lagos.
“This is not the only issue. Since the COVID-19 crisis, most airlines all over the world, including Nigeria have not recovered from COVID-19, except those whose countries have injected so much funds to assist them. This is nobody’s fault. It just happened. The government has tried its best by giving us this aviation fuel. This aviation fuel can take airlines out, not only in Nigeria but everywhere in the world.
“Some airlines outside Nigeria have closed down because of the effects of rising aviation fuel. If these things are not addressed in Nigeria, it can affect the bottom-line of all airlines in Nigeria.
“We have come to realise that there is little or nothing the committee set up can do because this is as a result of foreign exchange and the price of oil all over the world now. The fuel marketers will sell according to what they are paying. The cost of aviation fuel has increased, even in London and every other country. Our own is worse because of the increase in foreign exchange.”