Airline operators have hinted that they may be forced to review fares upward as the aviation fuel surged to above N1300.
This was made known in a statement on Friday by the spokesman of local airlines, Obiora Okonkwo, who called for immediate government intervention to prevent the collapse of local airlines.
The airlines said that the volatility in foreign exchange rates and the soaring cost of aviation fuel at N1,300 per litre had disrupted operational planning and stability within the aviation sector.
The Central Bank of Nigeria on June 14, 2023, unified the different segments of the forex market, causing the naira to depreciate significantly at both the official and the autonomous markets.
The local currency weakened to over 1,500/$ at the parallel on Wednesday and exchanged 1474.62/$ at the official market on Thursday.
The country has been struggling with lingering dollar scarcity due to reduced oil production, which brings in over 90 per cent of the country’s dollars.
This has made it difficult for local carriers to raise enough foreign exchange to run checks and conduct comprehensive maintenance of their fleets overseas.
“As fuel prices continue to rise, we expect immediate effects on ticket prices. As we head into the Easter and summer travel season, demand is likely to increase, putting further pressure on ticket costs.
“Due to the price surge, most people are now using cargo rather than travel themselves. So, it might rather dampen the demand for air travel because of the fares,” he said.
Punch /Saudat Adetunji