Nigerian Aviation Industry On The Verge of Extinction – AON Cries Out

by Ohepo Ohepo

The industry is on the verge of collapse, according to a dire warning from the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON). The group attributes this to a number of problems, including a lack of foreign exchange, skyrocketing fuel prices, and significant obstacles in the way of acquiring aircraft because of country risk factors.

During a recent press event, Obiora Okonkwo (Professor), the Chairman of United Nigeria Airlines and spokesperson for the Airline Operators of Nigeria, outlined the gravity of the issue.

He emphasized how urgently the government must step in to stop the disaster that is about to blow up the aviation industry as a whole.

“The lack of foreign exchange, the high cost of aviation fuel, and the difficult process of purchasing and maintaining aircraft in the face of national risk factors are posing existential threats to us,” expressed Okonkwo, highlighting the grave consequences of grounded aircraft waiting for maintenance, which worsens the depletion of essential equipment required for domestic services.

Airlines are caught in a maelstrom of uncertainty due to the poisonous combination of fluctuating foreign exchange rates and rising fuel prices, which are currently N1,300 a litre. This has made long-term planning pointless and planted the seeds of financial instability.

Okonkwo described the situation facing travelers who bought tickets in advance and are now facing increased expenses as a result of the current state of the economy.

“We are losing money due to circumstances outside of our control,” he bemoaned, highlighting the knock-on consequences that affect the whole aviation industry as airports and service providers raise fees and levies, further burdening the financially struggling airlines.

Airlines’ problems have been exacerbated by the decline in passenger traffic, which has been exacerbated by economic concerns and changing consumer choices. Seasonal swings have made their already precarious financial positions worse.

The fact that passengers would rather engage in financial transactions than take voluntary trips shows just how awful things have gotten.

In a passionate plea to the government, Okonkwo begged officials to recognize the seriousness of the situation and take prompt action to save the industry from certain collapse.

To prevent a catastrophic collapse and protect the aviation industry’s future, immediate action is required. This action includes regulatory support and specific foreign exchange allocations.

Airlines are facing an existential crisis due to increasing obstacles and rising borrowing costs. As a result, stakeholders need to come together and work together to prevent approaching disaster and steer the industry toward a sustainable recovery.

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