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Nigeria, the country with the largest economy in Africa, has decided to become the first country in the world to suspend flights as international oil prices continue to soar.
The Nigerian Aviation Association (AON) said in a statement on the 7th (local time) that it was temporary suspending flights from the 9th due to surge in jet fuel prices. "There is no airline in the world that can absorb the shock of a short-term astronomically (oil price) hike like now." The Association said.
23 Nigerian airlines have been subsidizing flights for the past four months, but the price of jet fuel has more than tripled to 700 Naira ($1.86) per liter, Bloomberg reported. According to the international Air Transportation Association, the price of international jet fuel as of end of last month was $174.38 per barrel, up 149.4 percent from a year ago.
Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa, but imports most of jet fuel and pays for jet fuel in US dollars. After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, airline fuel prices soared and the Nigerian currency (Naira) plummeted, adding to the difficulties of airlines.
The BBC analyzed that Nigeria's decision to suspend flights is a protest against the surge in oil prices. The Nigerian Aviation Association has demanded that the government, parliament and state oil companies take price stabilization measures, saying that the damage caused by the surge in jet fuel prices cannot be passed on to consumers.
This flight suspension does not apply to international flights to and from Nigeria. The BBC predicted that it would be a blow to travelers who have preferred to travel by air over car due to concerns about kidnapping.