Nigerians should brace up for a possible increase in ticket price as airline companies are struggling to lay their hands on aviation fuel (known as Jet A1). The scarcity has led to a price hike in the market.
Fuel marketers are said to be selling to the highest bidders. This means that only the airline companies which are willing to pay more are getting get fuel.
It was disclosed that the price of aviation fuel had gone up from N200/N220 to between N250, N255 and N270. This rise in price seems to have no end for the moment, and if the scarcity continues, there is a certainty that the price will keep rising.
According to a report, the fuel price is higher in Abuja compared to Lagos State.
“Price has increased and domestic airlines, especially when they want to refill in Abuja, have to prepay and wait to be allocated. But in Lagos, it is cheaper than outstations because of the time it takes for trucks to get to those places,” an inside source said in the report.
While the reason for the scarcity is not known yet, a marketer disclosed that, “We don’t produce aviation fuel. So, if something happens at the point of importing it, the marketers can spread the cost.”
Impact of the fuel price hike: The scarcity seems to have changed the routine operation of the domestic airlines, as they are now compelled to pay ahead in order to get the aviation fuel before their flight operation.
This might also cause flight delays. Already, in the first six months of this year, the aviation sector recorded 16,429 flight delay, and that number might significantly increase if the fuel scarcity lingers for a long period.
Also, fuel scarcity and increase in fuel price might affect flight tickets, as airline companies might not want to bear the cost alone. The domestic airlines might spread the cost around just like the fuel marketer did because fuel accounts for 30% to 40% of Airline’s operation costs.