Nigerian air operators say the price of kerosene has risen from 190 to 700 Nigerian naira per liter as a result of the war in Ukraine.
Nigerian airlines are to suspend all domestic flights from Monday due to a fourfold increase in jet fuel prices, an umbrella organization of operators said on Saturday.
Airline operators in Nigeria said the price of jet fuel had risen from 190 to 700 Nigerian naira per liter (from $0.45 to nearly $1.70). The rise in kerosene prices is mainly due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.
Fuel prices have skyrocketed around the world since Russia invaded its western neighbor, triggering a wide range of Western sanctions against Moscow, a major oil and gas exporter.
“No airline in the world can absorb this kind of sudden shock from such an astronomical rise in a short period of time,” AON said, adding that it would now cost a customer 120,000 naira ($289) to a one-hour flight, an unaffordable sum for Nigerians “who are already experiencing a lot of difficulties”.
The AON therefore wished to “unfortunately inform the general public that member airlines will cease operations nationwide effective Monday, May 9, 2022, until further notice,” it said.
The Ministry of Aviation responded by urging airlines to “consider the multiplier effect of halting operations, on Nigerians and travelers around the world.”
The Nigerian consumer protection agency also implored “domestic airlines to consider the effect of the proposed closure on passengers and the extent of the hardship and hardship associated with such action”.
He added that he was “concerned by the increase in consumer feedback that airlines have continued to sell tickets beyond the date announced for the proposed closure of service”.
Social media users have mocked airlines suggesting customers find alternative transportation.
“Nigerian Airlines will shut down passenger services from Monday,” one tweeted to more than 110,000 followers.
“Hope you can walk from Lagos to Abuja?” they wrote of the more than 700 kilometers (over 400 miles) journey by road between the country’s biggest city and its capital – a journey that normally takes just over an hour by air.
“If you use the roads, I hope you have your ransom money?” they added, shedding light on the kidnappings in other parts of the oil-rich country.
Nigeria produces 1.4 million barrels of crude per day, but refines little. It depends almost entirely on fuel imports, which makes the local market vulnerable to disruptions.
Rising fuel prices have caused prolonged power outages in recent weeks.