Some local airlines in Nigerian at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja have given reasons for the upsurge in fares to the current exchange rate.
The airlines, speaking with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the current exchange rate is to blame for the increase adding that a dollar that was N365 recently had gone up to N480/N500.
Max Air Station Manager, Mr Kehinde Ogunyale, said the impute to aviation industry was mostly based on dollar as parts of the craft could only be obtained from abroad.
“The fare actually went up. From Abuja to Lagos last week, highest fare was 35, 300 (Economy Class) and 80,000 (Business Class).
“ From Abuja to Lagos at present, highest fare is 60, 000 (Economy Class) and 98,000 (Business Class), “ he added.
Ogunyale added that the festive season is also a reason for the increment.
“The demand at the moment has outweighed capacity. After this period, we are going to a period called `low season`. That is the middle of January when nobody will want to fly.
The Station Manager of Aero Contractors, Mr Abdulmalik Jibreel, also disclosed that the company had increased the fares due to dollar to naira exchange rate coupled with high demand of tickets by passengers.
According to him, the airlines have no option than to increase the fare to meet demand of foreign exchange in the market of aircraft parts.
He mentioned that “the Government should make a certain percentage for the airlines of FOREX as a special price by Central Bank of Nigeria. By doing so, this may make ticket fare to drop.
“Government needs to step into aviation sector because we do not manufacture any part of air craft in Nigeria. One of the previous administrations in the country once waved custom duty on all spare parts of air craft.
“Government needs to take all these steps to make aviation sector viable. If not, masses will pay for it, “ he added.