The fares for domestic flights in Nigeria have gone up by over 50 per cent due to rising cost of aviation fuel, known as JET-A1, the local media reported Monday.
The report said most domestic airlines effected the increase late last week, raising the cost of a one-way ticket for a 45-minute flight to 36,000 naira (US$240) on the average, from 24,000 naira (US$160).
An earlier increase the same week had seen the price jumping from 24,000 naira (US$160) to 33,000 naira (US$220).
The new fares are exclusive of the 2,500 naira (US$16) and 1,000 naira (US$6) Passenger Service Charge being paid by each traveller as terminal fee to the managers of the two domestic wings of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Dr. Harold Demuren, was quoted as saying the airlines were facing tough operational challenges caused by the scarcity of Jet-A1 and the recent flooding, which affected runways in most airports across the country.
He said the price of aviation fuel as at last Wednesday stood at 190 naira (US$1.2) per litre in Lagos and was higher in other parts of the country.
“We are aware that air fares are moving up by the day and that it has got to about 33,000 naira (US$160), but this is because aviation fuel, which accounts for 25 per cent to 40 per cent of airlines’ operating cost, has gone up astronomically.
“As the minister (of aviation) has assured, something has to be done since aviation supports the commerce of this country, with more than 300 daily flights recorded for domestic operations, more than 75 daily flights for international operations and more than 400 helicopter sorties
supporting onshore and offshore oil operations,” he said