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Airlines must adjust to rising Jet A1 cost — Olowo



An aviation expert, Dr Gabriel Olowo, on Thursday said that airlines had no choice but to sell what they buy, in terms of fuel costs, to stay afloat.

Olowo, the immediate past President of Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ART) and Chairman Sabre Global Technology Ltd., InterGuide Group & GolfView Suites, told our reporter in Lagos.

He spoke against the backdrop of the increasing cost of aviation fuel and the attendant rise in air fares.

It was learnt that the cost of Jet A1 (aviation fuel) which was N1,380 per litre a week ago, rose to N1,480 in Lagos, N1,522 in Abuja and Port Harcourt, and N1530 in Kano on Tuesday.

“To stay afloat, airlines are advised to sell what they buy, no subsidies.

“The foreign airlines are withdrawing their inventories but the local ones cannot.

“Hence, the local ones must strictly sell at cost,” he said.

Olowo said that fuel price had a significant role on tariffs as it formed 30 per cent to 35 per cent cost element in aviation.

“Increase, therefore, is tantamount to upward review on all tariffs. Affordability is a question of travel need.

“When there is the urgent need for one to travel, especially by air, one must travel, but it will cut down on travel wastes.

Speaking on the proposed installation of the e-verification gates at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, as announced by the Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Olowo said it would enhance travel comfort.

“E-verification gates is most welcome and also desirable at all our international airports especially Lagos.

“It enhances passenger processing and makes travel experience much more comfortable.

“It also enhances security, preventing operatives from flipping from one page of document to another page,” he noted.

It was reported that on Feb. 19, Tunji-Ojo announced that biometric e-gates were being installed at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja and at the e-border data and control center at the Nigeria Immigration Service headquarters.

As of Feb. 19, four out of the planned 10 gates had been installed at the airport, while the remaining six gates would be operational before the end of the month.

The nationwide project will deliver a total of 40 e-verification gates across international airports by the end of the first quarter of the year.

These installations will include 10 gates in Abuja, 17 in Lagos, five in Kano and four each in Enugu and Port Harcourt.

Olowo also highlighted the need for airlines to adhere to the standards of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) on full insurance coverage of passengers.

He said: “Insurance is not new to operators. They must comply with ICAO standards for full coverage of the hull, and passengers.

“In the event they do not, the local CAA has a duty to perform. ICAO standard and recommended practices has provided adequate cover for accident victims and their relatives,” he said.

Itohan Abara-laserian

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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