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Ibom Air breaks ranks with Nigerian domestic aviators’ plan to stop flights over jet fuel cost

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Uyo-based airline, Ibom Air, on Saturday said it will not take part in an industry plan to stop flights from Monday over the high cost of jet fuel, saying the move would affect revenues needed to service obligations to financiers and suppliers.

The Airline Operators of Nigeria association said on Friday that members will stop local flights from Monday until further notice. read more

Ibom Air, one of the smaller members of the nine-airline association, is the first to say it will not participate in grounding flights.

The association said jet fuel has risen to ₦700 per litre in Nigeria from ₦190 over a short period and that the cost of a one-hour flight has more than doubled to ₦120,000, a price it said was unsustainable.

Ibom Air, backed by Akwa Ibom state, said high jet fuel posed a threat but stopping operations would exacerbate the situation due to obligations and that customers have paid in advance for flights.

In November, Ibom Air signed a firm order for ten Airbus A220 planes at the Dubai Airshow.

The aviation ministry said on Saturday it was concerned about the difficulties and the spiralling airfares due to jet fuel costs but appealed to the airlines to consider the effects of a shutdown on travellers at home and abroad.

A previous threat by the association to stop flights over high costs was averted by government financial assistance.

Separately, Air Peace, Nigeria’s biggest carrier by passenger numbers, flying to Dubai and Johannesburg, has warned of flight disruptions due to jet fuel scarcity. (REUTERS)

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