The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says airlines operating in Nigeria and other African countries lose an average of N554 ($1.54) on every passenger they carry.
Data made available by the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) showed that local airlines transported 2.56 million passengers on 42,905 flights in the first quarter of 2019.
This would mean that local airlines lost N1.41 billion in the first quarter of the year.
Speaking at the 51st annual general assembly of the African Airline Association (AFRAA) in Mauritius, Alexandre de Juniac, the IATA president, said user charges account for 11.4% of airlines’ operating costs in Africa.
“The success of African aviation is also challenged by high costs. African carriers lose $1.54 for every passenger they carry,” he said.
“High costs contribute to these losses. Jet fuel costs are 35% higher than the global average
“User charges are excessive. They account for 11.4% of African airlines’ operating costs. That is double the industry average.
“And there is a plethora of taxes and charges, some unique like redevance fees, hydrant fees, railage fees, royalty fees and even solidarity taxes.
“Flying is not a luxury—it is an economic lifeline for this continent. That’s why it is critical for governments to understand that every extra cost they add to the industry reduces aviation’s effectiveness as a catalyst for development.”
Apart from cost, the IATA boss said other priorities for African aviation are safety, liberalizing intra-Africa access to markets and gender diversity.