Local airlines operating in Nigeria under the aegis of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have issued a public notice postponing the shutdown of operations in the country scheduled to start on Monday, May 9th 2022.

Driving the news
The president of the AON, Abdulmunaf Sarina announced the postponement stating the economic and security situation of the country as the reason for the postponement. 

Brief background to the story 

  • This action of the local airlines to seize operations in Nigeria is due to the overwhelming cost of aviation fuel currently selling in the country at N700 per liter. 
  • Also, the Union of Aviation Workers in Nigeria had notified the federal government of a two-day warning strike to express their displeasure over unresolved Conditions of Service and outstanding welfare concerns, starting from Monday, May 9th 2022. 
  • Local airlines operating in Nigeria including Max Air, Arik Air, Dana Air, Air Peace, Azman Air, United Nigeria Airlines and Aero Contractors endorsed the decision while Ibom Air backed out.

Current situation 
Aviation fuel in Nigeria hiked in March 2022 by over 300% from January 2022, invariably increasing the prices of airline tickets and other cost of operations. With the current report speculating an even further increase, the aviation sector’s stakeholders decided to seize operations until some sort of compromise is agreed. The worrisome rise in aviation fuel also affected the revenue generated by these airlines.

What they are saying 
The statement postponing the suspension of operations said “the AON has acceded to requests to withdraw the action for the time being while we allow for a fresh round of dialogue with government in the hope of reaching an amicable solution.”

Global view 
With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States and other world powers issued sanctions on the import of Russian oil. Since then, global oil prices have jumped more than 30% since February, reaching $139 a barrel at some point. As of May 5th 2022, the price of Brent crude was $108.99 per barrel, while that of April was $104.58 per barrel.

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