Nigerians travelling by air have are beginning to lament increasing cost of flights within the country which is now over a hundred thousand (N100,000) naira per hour.
Reports revealed that the economy class domestic tickets from Lagos to Abuja via Arik Air, United Nigeria and Air Peace now surged to over N150,000 with other airlines reportedly following the same trend.
At the domestic wing of the Lagos airport last Tuesday, many travellers interviewed by journalists lamented the sharp increase in airfares.
One of the travellers who spoke with The PUNCH, Ubong angrily said, “This is not the time to ask for my name, the federal government and all those concerned should do the needful, why does the average Nigerian have to suffer? I mean, we are a fuel-producing nation, why are we suffering?
“Everybody is just doing as they like, how can you say Lagos to Abuja is N154,000, am I plucking money from the tree? The roads are not safe, so travel by road and get kidnapped. Those that were kidnapped on the train how many months ago are still in captivity. Which account will I write this expense?”
The lamentation was further expressed by another traveller who identified her name simply as Miss Nike.
Nike who noted that she had to make the trip as she was going on business said, “The Nigerian travelling populace is made up of mostly business people, should we now spend all our earnings on air transport? I can’t even begin to explain how this makes me feel.”
Jungle-Journalist.Com learnt that the increasing hike in the price of aviation fuel (Jet A1) and its scarcity is a major factor to the disturbing airfare hike.
A litre of Jet A1 which initially cost N400 now sells for over N800 per litre.
The airlines have also complained about difficulties in getting forex. Despite a significant increase in domestic air passenger traffic in 2019 by almost 30 percent, there is still a huge gap in travel demand by Nigerians.
According to the figures released by the Consumer Protection Directorate of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, roughly 15 million air travellers both domestic and international went through the airports in 2018.
Earlier, Airline Operators of Nigeria notified passengers of air transport services that the sector has been hit by a major crisis of acute scarcity ofJet A1, hence warned that there may be possible flight cancellations and hike in airfares.
Reacting, a stressed air passenger who responded to journalists, Jessica Joseph said, “This just means things are getting out of hand, because how do you explain this? Who do we hold responsible now? Our leaders, the cause of all this have money to fly around as they like, their jets are fully powered on taxpayers’ money yet it is the tax payer that is suffering, imagine, what if I now want to fly out of Nigeria, na to rob bank, abi?”