Airline Operators Association of Nigeria (AOAN) has called on the Federal Government to review the charges paid by its members in order to reduce their high cost of operation.
Mr Mohammed Joji, General Secretary of the association, told the News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) in Abuja that high operating cost was a challenge facing the aviation industry in Nigeria.
Joji stated that airline operators in the country were burdened with multiple charges, which included five per cent ticket sale charge, landing and parking charge as well as passenger service charge and en-route navigational charge.
According to him, aside the charges mentioned, airlines are also subjected to paying Value Added Tax (VAT) to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and this is abnormal.
“The issue of multiple charges is a major challenge facing local airline operators, because the charges are so numerous and have significantly affected airlines’ operations.
“For instance, we pay five per cent charge for passenger’s ticket, which is a compulsory payment for every operator.
“For the operators to survive in the business, there is the need for the government to harmonise some of these charges in the overall interest of the sector.
“The charges are not good for the industry as a whole, and we urge the government to find ways of addressing this issue which has become a major challenge to us,’’ he said.
Joji said that another challenge of the industry was the high cost of aviation fuel (JET-A1), which is currently being sold at between N160 per litre and N170 per litre.
He added that the aviation fuel, whose price was usually cheaper than the prices of petrol and diesel, was hitherto sold at N40 per litre.
According to him, the marketers have taken advantage of the deregulation of the downstream sector to reap additional proceeds, which is illegal and immoral.
The general secretary called on the government to develop policy to stabilise aviation fuel supply and pricing, which had been of serious concern to both operators and stakeholders.
He also disclosed that foreign exchange issue was another challenge be-devilling the growth of the sector, adding that every part of an aircraft, including nuts, bolts and screws, were imported.