Nigerian airlines will shut down from Monday until further notice due to the high cost of aviation fuel, the Nigerian Operators Association said on Friday.

Domestic flights have been suspended since March as some began canceling domestic schedules and others delayed operations, citing a shortage of aviation fuel.

World fuel prices soared after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused a surge in the crude oil market, which hit airlines and passengers with a sharp rise in costs.

Jet fuel has risen to 700 naira per liter in Nigeria from 190 naira in a short period of time, according to a statement from the Airlines Association, which said the cost of a one-hour flight has more than doubled to 120,000 naira, which is volatile.

Passengers of airlines in Nigeria pay for naira fares, which have weakened sharply due to the devaluation.

However, fuel suppliers are paid in dollars, a scarce currency in Africa’s leading economy. The association said further increases in the cost of aviation fuel were creating operational pressures that called into question their financial viability.

“To this end, Nigerian Airlines (AON) operators … inform the general public that member airlines will cease operations across the country from Monday, May 9, 2022 until further notice,” the statement said.

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