Lagos to Abuja flight ticket should cost N250k – Airline operators

Bisola David
Bisola David
Lagos to Abuja flight ticket should cost N250k - Airline operators

The Spokesperson for the Airline Operators of Nigeria and Chairman of United Nigeria Airlines, Obiora Okonkwo, has stated that due to cost increases, an air ticket from Lagos to Abuja should cost N250,000

He said this in an exclusive interview with AriseTV.

According to him, “If you think tickets are expensive, you’re probably underestimating the sacrifices made by local operators.”

“With costs rising daily, if we have to charge rates, we should pay at least N250,000 to travel from Lagos to Abuja.”

Further, Prof. Okonkwo, who serves as Chairman of United Nigeria Airlines, emphasized the pressing requirement for local airlines to have access to foreign exchange through a designated window facilitated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He urged the recently appointed aviation minister, Festus Keyamo, to work with other government agencies to identify and remove systemic obstacles that worsen the problems already present.

In response to the foreign exchange situation, Okonkwo said: “You have naira, but you are unable to exchange it for dollars. Therefore, the answer to this is for our minister to realize that in order to obtain foreign exchange, we require a specific window with the CBN.”

He voiced alarm about the excessively high price of aviation fuel and blamed the exorbitant costs on speculative activities. He urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to stop these practices in order to contribute to the stabilization of the sector.

According to him, there is no justification for aviation fuel to be delivered to the pump for more than N500, regardless of the global price of crude oil. Everything you see above it is just supposition, and I’m pleading with the NNPC employees to free this country.

“The government and new aviation minister must recognize the aviation industry as one of the crucial sectors of the economy, it is a form of transportation and is no longer just for the wealthy,” he said.

Okonkwo drew attention to the particular difficulties facing the sector by emphasizing the currency disparity that local businesses face. The industry is particularly susceptible to currency changes since earnings in naira must cover large dollar-denominated expenses.

In this regard, he pleaded with the minister to refrain from making changes to the current laws and institutional frameworks.

“The present minister should refrain from altering the rules. The Federal Ministry of Aviation used to provide job letters to the regulatory staff, which was a really awful practice.

“That is unacceptable. Therefore, let the regulatory system continue. Investigate the most recent appointments that were made prior to the conclusion of the previous administration, too,” Okonkwo said.

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