Ghana, Nigeria’s neighbouring country, is fast becoming operational for foreign airlines in West Africa following high foreign exchange and scarcity as well as high cost of aviation fuel.
Already, some airlines now refuel from Accra, the Ghanaian capital, where aviation fuel is relatively cheap with a “less cumbersome” exchange rate system.
Airline operators in Nigeria have been groaning over the high cost of aviation fuel which jumped from N105 in March to N200 in Lagos and about N240 outside Lagos State which is the operational hub of all the airlines.
It was learnt that aviation fuel is sold at between N110 and N120 in Ghana. Sources said many foreign airlines in Nigeria are feeling the heat prompting them to consider re-fueling from Accra and deserting Abuja, the nation’s capital.
“The implication of this is that they refuel in Accra and only come to Abuja to pick their passengers to their destinations”, he said.
Capt. Nogie Meggison, the Chairman of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), also confirmed the development to Daily Trust. He said it is a huge loss of revenue to Nigeria from the charges paid by the airlines as well as the hotel bills for their crew. All of these are now transferred to Ghana, he noted.
However, Regional Manager of British Airways, Mr. Kola Olayinka, in a chat with Daily Trust said Nigeria still remained BA’s operational hub. “British Airways flights go from Abuja to London direct and Lagos to London direct”, he said.
Med-View Airline Managing Director and CEO, Alhaji Muneer Bankole, urged the federal government to actualise plan to begin refining of aviation fuel locally, saying that would ease the pains being experienced by the local carriers.
Source: Daily Trust.