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Nigerian airlines suspend plans to ground local flights

Nigerian airlines suspend plans to ground local flights
FILE- Airbus A380 approaches to land at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg,   -  
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Nigerian airlines have suspended plans to ground domestic flights due to soaring fuel prices, the Association of Nigerian Airlines (AON) has announced.

The AON arrived at this decision after receiving "numerous calls from the highest levels of government promising urgent intervention." Part of the statement on Sunday read.

The AON had initially announced on Friday the suspension of domestic flights on Monday "until further notice" due to the surge in the price of JetA1 paraffin, whose price per litre has almost quadrupled.

"… in the interest of the national economy, the AON informs the general public that the previously announced cessation of operations on 9 May is suspended pending a successful engagement with the government," it said.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February and imposed sanctions on Moscow, world oil prices have soared, causing fuel prices to soar in many countries.

Nigeria's aviation sector has been hit hard by the price hike, leading several unions in the sector to go on strike on Monday to demand a minimum wage increase.

The threat to suspend all domestic flights had provoked a flurry of reactions, with the authorities calling on AON "to consider the multiplier effect of stopping their operations on Nigerians and travellers worldwide".

In March this year, several domestic flights in Nigeria were reported to have been delayed and others cancelled due to lack of jet fuel.

The Nigerian Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) said it was seeking to find an "acceptable arrangement" with the major fuel marketers.

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