Air fares soar as Lagos-Abuja-Kano route, others hit N135,000

By EDU ABADE Business Editor

Air travellers continued to lament the incessant hikes in ticket prices on the domestic routes, especially from Lagos to Abuja, Abuja-Kano and Port Harcourt-Lagos-Abuja, as airlines now charge air fares as much as N125,000 and N135,000 for one-way domestic flights.

Subsequently, most intending air travellers have had to cancel their planned trips to parts of the country due to the sharp increase the air fares and are opting for road transport. Airlines have blamed the development on the incessant increase in the price of aviation fuel, otherwise called Jet A1 and other operational costs, which kept rising.

The Trumpet recalled that aviation fuel, which was sold for less than N200 per litre last year now goes for over N800 and there are fears that it could hit N1000 amid the falling value of the naira and the Russia-Ukraine war, which had disrupted supply chain in the oil industry.

This was exacerbated by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority’s (NCAA) suspension of flight operations of Aero Contractors and Dana Air by Following the development, some stakeholders have advised airlines to sell tickets to reflect the current price of Jet A1, even as some sources also revealed that the airlines had to do so to remain in business.

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Reports indicated that most airlines have reviewed their prices upwards with the lowest ticket selling for N80,000, as against N50,000, which the airlines introduced recently in light of unfolding events in the aviation industry.

A passenger of one of the local airlines told The Trumpet he wanted to travel to Lagos from Abuja for a programme on Thursday last week and the only available flight he got was N125,000 and he had to suspend the trip. “I found that quite exorbitant, which means I would be spending over N200,000 for a return trip.

Where will I get that kind of money? It is quite absurd and unsustainable, especially for businesses,” he said. Checks on Ibom Air on Monday showed that Lagos-Abuja flight for Wednesday indicated that most seats have been fully booked but the ticket costs N78,000, Air Peace flight from Lagos to Kano now cost over N80,000, while Abuja-Kano flight costs N135,000 on Max Air.

However, booking 48 hours ahead of the flight costs N78,000 per passenger, just as Azman Air’s flight from Lagos to Kaduna cost N100,000 in the last few weeks. Also, its Lagos-Kano flight costs between N95,000 and N105,000 depending on the travel date and time.

It was also learnt that flight from Lagos to Abuja on Green Africa Airlines, which used to cost between N27, 000 and N35,000 with the tag of low-cost carriers at a time other operators were charging N50,000, has virtually dumped low cost fares in their inventory and selling Lagos Abuja flights for N80,000.

It also selling its Lagos-Abuja and Abuja-Ilorin flight tickets for N54,000 to N70,000, as against the usual N25,000. Responding to the development, an aviation analyst and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TopBrass Airline, Captain Roland Iyayi, said while the current fare hike was unsustainable, airline operators have no option but to review their prices upward to recover costs.

He said as part of the solution to the current challenges facing the airlines, the NCAA should review the five per cent Tickets Sale Charge (TSC), adding: “The immediate solution is for the Federal Government to import and subsidise Jet A1 before the refineries become functional again.”

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