Its jet fuel prices have risen so high because it “imports 100% of its aviation fuel” which is then transported by the road leading to high distribution costs, said Sindy Foster, a Lagos-based aviation expert.
“It is also likely to be a foreign exchange issue. We don’t have a stable currency and most imports are only accessible by obtaining foreign exchange on the black market,” said Foster, a principal managing partner at Avaero Capital Partners.
Nigeria has seen a “steady and astronomical hike” in the price of aviation fuel, or Jet A-1, with a liter currently at 700 naira ($1.7) up from 190 naira ($0.4) at the beginning of the year.
“No airline in the world can absorb this kind of sudden shock from such an astronomical rise over a short period,” the airlines association said. It said the rising fuel prices would cause ticket prices to go up by more than 100% but said such increases “cannot be fully passed to passengers who are already experiencing a lot of difficulties.”
The situation has already forced Nigerian airlines to delay and cancel flights more frequently.
With the trend of armed gangs abducting people traveling by road and on trains, particularly in its troubled northern region, many people are choosing to take airplanes. The volume of air traffic in the country jumped by 43% in 2021, according to the Nigeria statistics agency.