In an action that could lead to cheaper domestic flights, aviation fuel marketers in Nigeria have announced a 44% price cut, from 156/170 naira (US$1.07/1.17) to 86 naira (59 cents) per litre.
The cut, announced on Thursday, is in line with the pledge by the marketers earlier this month to slash aviation fuel price by the end of January, giving enough time for them to exhaust their old stock.
It is also a consequence of the tumbling oil prices in the international market, and came a week after the Nigerian government cut petrol prices by 5 naira (.03 cents) per litre.
However, indications are that not all the marketers have complied with the cut, forcing the umbrella Airlines Operators of Nigeria (AON) to order a boycott of recalcitrant marketers.
Nigerian airlines have been groaning under high fuel costs.
Last August, African Airlines Association (AFRAA) Secretary-General Christian Folly-Kossi visited Nigeria as part of a swing through West and Central Africa to push the association’s plan for member airlines to get cheaper jet fuel.
During the visit, Mr. Folly-Kossi told PANA in Lagos that the current high cost of jet fuel and the scarcity of the product in some member states were not acceptable.
“High oil prices (part of the reasons for the rising cost of jet fuel) is pulling down many airlines. So far, 24 airlines have folded up worldwide,” Mr. Folly-Kossi said, warning that unless something was done urgently, the high fuel costs would hit African airlines hard, especially because the continent is home to many ailing airlines that ”are not sizeable enough to contain the storm”.