By Chinelo Obogo
Domestic airlines have increased the cost of air fare from N50,000 to N75,000 for economy seats and N130,000 for business class, Daily Sun can confirm.
This development comes following the scarcity and increase in cost of Jet A1, also known as aviation fuel to N800 per liter. Domestic operators have complained how fuel cost consumes over 60 percent of operation costs and Daily Sun findings reveal that airlines like Air Peace spend over N100 million daily on fuel due to its large fleet, while Dana Air was spending over N50 million.
A look at the websites of the airlines show that to book economy seats on Air peace for a 6.30am flight from Abuja to Lagos cost N75,000, while a passenger can only access a N65,000 ticket from 9pm.
On Arik Air website, 6.30am flight for an economy seat from Lagos to Abuja, cost N93,452, while a business class ticket for the same time and destination cost N132,976.
On Azman Air, an economy flight ticket from Abuja to Kano for 2pm, cost N94,835, while a flight for 6pm on the same day, cost N75,000.
For Max Air, flights from Abuja to Lagos from 2pm, cost N75, 000 for economy seats and it is the same for United Nigeria airlines.
Daily Sun had predicted last week that air fares may increase to over N65, 000 after Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) wrote the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), demanding 25 percent fuel surcharge.
Ia letter to the director general, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu, dated July 18, 2022 and signed by its President, Abdumunaf Sarina, the association said the proposal to introduce fuel surcharge is to cushion the effect of the situation. The association is also asking that taxes should be based on the fare due to airlines adding that fuel surcharge should be exempted from Ticket Sales Charge (TSC).
The association said: The Airline Operators of Nigeria hereby wishes to approval for fuel surcharge as an ameliorative measure to cushion the effect of the continuous increase in the exorbitant price of Jet-A1 on airline operations in the country.
“In addition to the crippling effect of intermittent shortages of Jet-A1, the price has risen from N200 per liter in February 2022 to over N780 today. This has greatly increased the operational cost of airlines by well over 130 percent, yet, airlines are unable to increase fares and as well surfer from unavailability of foreign exchange to conduct their operations.
“In order to forestall a backlash and total shutdown of the system, airlines are hoping to resort to an introduction of a fuel surcharge of between 25% to 40% of Neutral Unit of Consumption (NUC) as a way of offsetting the additional burden brought about by increased fuel cost, bearing in mind that Jet fuel account for about 40% of total operational expenses. “