7 February 2013

Nigeria: High Cost of Aviation Fuel Affects Domestic Operations - Chanchangi

Lagos — Chanchangi airline has said that high cost of aviation fuel in Nigeria is a huge setback for domestic airline operations.

The Lagos station manager of the airline, Mr Babadiyia Ahmed, told aviation correspondents, that about 70 percent of the operational cost of airlines in the country is aviation fuel.

The high cost of aviation fuel led to the setting up of a ministerial committee last year to recommend workable solutions to the problem.

The committee has since submitted its report.

The Minister of Aviation Princess Stella Oduah told journalists last month that the appropriate stakeholders are being consulted for an effective solution to the high cost of aviation fuel.

According to Ahmed, a litre of aviation fuel JET A1 costs between N160 and N180 per litre which has greatly affected operations in the country's local route, adding that government in the past tried to find solution but nothing came out of it.

He urged the government to look into the challenges of aviation fuel and resolve it for the benefit of both the airlines and the travelling public.

Ahmed noted that airline business was always dull in the first quarter of every year as low traffic were recorded during the period.

"The period we are in January and March is a bad season for airlines and business in general because of budget implementation but it is bad in the aviation industry and we are really bearing the brunt," he said.

He said Chanchangi airlines was overcoming its problems with arrangement concluded for the arrival of its own aircraft, adding that Owerri and PortHarcourt routes which the airline has been operating before the problem will be added as soon as the aircraft arrives.

"The plans are there and they are our routes, we planned to fly those five key routes, Portharcourt, Owerri, Kaduna, Lagos and Abuja. These routes we intend to build and build it well," he said.

According to Ahmed, the airline was being repositioned for the best, stressing that so many innovations have been introduced for customers delight.

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