LAGOS, Nigeria: Nigeria's national airlines will suspend operations beginning this week until further notice due to the rising cost of jet fuel.
Citing scarce supplies of fuel, domestic flights have been disrupted since March, with some airlines canceling domestic schedules.
After Russia's invasion of Ukraine caused a price surge in the crude oil market, global jet fuel prices have soared, increasing costs significantly for both airlines and passengers.
In a statement, the airline association said jet fuel prices rose to $1.68 per liter in Nigeria from 45 cents, and the cost of a one-hour flight has more than doubled to $297.
Airline passengers in Nigeria pay for fares in naira, which has weakened sharply due to devaluations. Meanwhile, fuel suppliers are paid in dollars, which is scarce in Nigeria, which remains Africa's leading economy.
The association said the continued rise in the cost of jet fuel has created operational pressures that put into question the airlines' financial viability, stating, "To this end, therefore, the Airline Operators of Nigeria informs the general public that member airlines will discontinue operations nationwide with effect from Monday, 9th May, 2022 until further notice."