Rising Airfares: Why FG Should Not Subsidize Aviation Fuel – Expert
The only visible solution to the aviation crisis rocking Nigeria is for the federal government to bring up policies that will help airlines to remain in business, an aviation expert, Captain Ado Sanusi, has said.
Capt Sanusi, while speaking on Channels Television on Monday morning, said all domestic airlines were suffering and may go under very soon if the government refuse to step in urgently.
Aviation operators had threatened to shut down indefinitely on Monday as a result of the rising cost of operation but were prevailed upon by the government.
The aviation fuel had risen from N190 per litre to N700 per litre within a few months.
While noting that airline operators had no reason to shut down in the first place, Capt Sanusi said they could only reflect the cost of operation in the price of their tickets since the sector had been deregulated.
He, however, acknowledged that an increase in ticket price would lead to low passenger traffic and job loss in the sector.
The aviation expert, therefore, said the federal government must go beyond pacifying the airline operators to continue operation, adding that it must design policies that will allow them to operate profitably and smoothly.
“The FG should bring policies that will bring about a better operating environment for the airlines, especially the foreign exchange should be made available to the airlines.
“Stability of the price of Jet A1 should be made. It is very simple to do that. There are so many ways you can get the stability of Jet A1 price. The easiest is for the federal government to bring the [Jet A1] cargo in and this is not going to be forever. When the federal government brings the cargo in, they allocate it to the marketers to sell only to domestic airlines.
“The moment we start refining the product in Nigeria, there would be the stability of the pricing. And when there is the stability of pricing, the cost to the airlines are known.”
He kicked against a bailout for the airline operators, saying this will lead to control of the sector by the federal government, which he said is not healthy for the aviation sector.
Capt Sanusi also called on the airline operators to put more pressure on the federal government to act now to save the sector.