Airlines may be com-pelled to increase air fares anytime from now, following new increase in the price of aviation fuel, otherwise known as JET-A1, to N126 per litre from N116, less than two months after another increment.
At present, airlines currently charge between N18,000 and N20,000 for every one hour flight in the country.
Consequently, the Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, has scheduled a meeting for today to react to the new increase in the price of fuel.
AON Chiarman, Dr. Steve Mahonwu, who dropped hint of the meeting yesterday, said a communique would be issued at the end of the meeting, stating the airlines’ position on the latest increase by oil marketers.
Vanguard learnt yesterday that some operators were already planning to increase fares by 10 percent in reaction to the new increase in the price of fuel.
One official of an airline said: “We are gradually going to the 2008 era when the oil marketers continually increased fuel price till it got to N180 per litre.
“It was the intervention of the Senate and the federal government that helped to bring the price to half (N90) then. No airline will be able to afford this increment after one had just been done last September.”
We are calling on the Senate, the federal government and Nigerians to intervene before the airline industry collapses because of this development,” an airline official reacted last night.
He lamented that since the announcement of N500 billion intervention funds for power and energy and aviation sector, the airlines had not been able to access the fund, stressing that the new price regime might make things further difficult for airlines.
“If the cost of bringing aviation fuel to the country is becoming high, the government can use the N200 billion that is being planned for the aviation sector to support the challenge with the aviation fuel,” said another airline staff, who pleaded anonymity.
Based on precedence, it is most likely that airlines may fix their new fares at between N22,000 and N25,000 for every one hour flight.