A number of international carriers offering flight services have started relocating their offices to Accra, Ghana from their operational bases in Nigeria.
It was gathered that such airlines, which now have their bases in Ghana, only fly to Nigeria to pick passengers on scheduled flights. The airlines cited the poor value of the naira and high cost and paucity of aviation fuel as some of the reasons for their relocation, Thisday learned.
One of the major international operators in Nigeria, Emirates, started last Sunday to pick up Nigerian passengers and take them to Accra, where it refuels before heading back to Dubai, its operational hub.It was also learned that some other airlines were already opening their Accra offices, while some have started both Accra and Lagos flights.
The Chairman of Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, Captain Nogie Meggison, who confirmed Emirates’ latest decision said other foreign airlines may follow suit because of the high cost of aviation fuel, which is hurting air transport business in Nigeria.
Meggison noted that some of the airlines may even begin to attract Nigerian passengers to travel to Ghana to board international flights.Meggison said that Ghana may also use the price of aviation fuel, known as Jet A1, to attract more foreign airlines operating in Nigeria to move to Accra, a development which he said would hurt hotel and logistics supply businesses in Nigeria.
While aviation fuel is sold at N200 to N250 per litre in Nigeria, the product is sold at N110 per litre in Accra as the West African neighbouring country reduced the price of the product by 20 per cent about two weeks ago.
He also noted that domestic airlines would also lose connecting passengers from other destinations to Lagos and Abuja where they board international flights.Meggison also frowned on what some industry observers described as the cartel of oil marketers that arbitrarily fix price of aviation fuel to boost their profits.
He noted that as they make profits from the aviation fuel, they are stifling Nigeria’s economy because they drive away foreign airlines out of the country.
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