Domestic airlines under the aegis of the Airline Operators of Nigeria have said that rising operational costs, occasioned by aviation fuel price hikes and foreign exchange shortage, among others, may push the base economy flight ticket to N100,000.

Professor Obiora Okonkwo, The spokesperson for local airlines/Chairman, United Airlines, disclosed this during an exclusive interview on Wednesday 18th May 2022, in Abuja.

The airline supervisor said aside from the lingering aviation price hike crisis, the local operators were being compelled to source foreign exchange from the parallel market at high rates due to a lack of adequate supply from the Central bank of Nigeria via the commercial banks.

Consequently, “an increase in the base economy flight ticket to at least N100,000 might be inevitable for all domestic airline operators if the current situation persists”.

Okonkwo said, “Obviously, it is inevitable. I can tell you that all the airline operators, in the last three months, have been losing money, a huge amount of money. There is too much stress on the operational fronts for them to break even. 

Even if the aviation fuel is made available, there must be a review to reflect the minimal operational cost. We are offering patriotic services to the nation and understand the essential part of it. We are part of this economic development process in Nigeria but  it is coming at a very huge sacrifice.”

He added, “Nothing less than N100,000, between N100,000 and N120,000 base price, even with Jet A1 fuel at N400 – N500. That is what it is.”

In this regard, Okonkwo added that meetings with the CBN are yet to yield any positive result in the provision of adequate forex.

Story: Ralia Adama