The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has said that it will shut down operations nationwide with effect from Monday May 9, 2022 until further notice.
The AON disclosed this in a statement signed by Its President, Alhaji (Dr.) Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, Executive Director, Max Air, Alhaji Shehu Wada, Chairman, United Nigeria Airlines,. Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, Chief Executive Officer of Ibom Air, Capt. Mfon Udom,CEO of Arik Air, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu and CEO, Aero Contractors, Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood.
Other CEOs that signed the statement are, MD, Azman Air Alhaji Faisal Abdulmunaf, CEO, Overland Airways, Capt. Edward Boyo, Deputy CEO, Dana Air, Mr. Sukh Mann and Chairman of Air Peace, Barr. Allen Onyema, Chairman, Air Peace
AON also copied the Honourable Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika and the Director General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu
AON said that it has continue to deploy and subsidise its services to its highly esteemed Nigerian flying public in the last four months despite the steady and astronomical hike in the price of JetA1 and other operating costs.
AON lamented that overtime, aviation fuel price (JetA1) has risen from N190 per litre to N700 currently.
“No airline in the world can absorb this kind of sudden shock from such an astronomical rise over a short period. While aviation fuel worldwide is said to cost about 40 per cent of an airline’s operating cost globally, the present hike has shut up Nigeria’s operating cost to about 95 per cent.”
AON said that in the face of this, airlines operators have engaged the Federal Government, the National Assembly, NNPC and Oil Marketers with the view to bringing the cost of JetA1 down which has currently made the unit cost per seat for a one hour flight in Nigeria today to an average of N120,000.
It added that the latter cannot be fully passed to passengers, who are already experiencing a lot of difficulties.
The statement pointed out that while AON appreciates the efforts of the current government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure air transport in Nigeria grows, but that unfortunately, the cost of aviation fuel has continued to rise unabated thereby creating huge pressure on the sustainability of operations and financial viability of the airlines.
According to the airlines umbrella body this is unsustainable and the airlines can no longer absorb the pressure.
“To this end therefore, the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) hereby wishes to regrettably inform the general public that member airlines will discontinue operations nationwide with effect from Monday May 9, 2022 until further notice.”
AON said that it regrets any inconveniences this very difficult decision might cause and appealed to travelers to kindly reconsider their travel itinerary and make alternative arrangements.