By: Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi
Domestic airlines operating in the country have continued to record increase in the number of passengers as well as flight operations in recent times.
Figures from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority showed that the airlines have seen steady growth in passenger traffic in the last year.
The figures obtained by our correspondent on Friday showed that domestic airlines recorded 5,420 flight operations by eight airlines in January, up from the 4, 838 recorded by nine airlines in the same period in 2017.
Air Peace led the airlines with 2, 129 flights, followed by Arik with 1, 138 flights while Med-View Airlines recorded the lowest at 87 flights.
On the international routes, Accra-based airline, Africa World Airlines, led about 30 airlines with 152 flights, followed by Air Peace with 132 flights, while Asky and Ethiopian Airlines had 107 and 92 flight operations, respectively.
A Khartoum, a Sudan-based airline, Tarco Air, recorded the lowest with two flights.
Emirates, however, led with the number of passengers on international routes with 23,630 and 24,955 inbound and outbound passengers, respectively.
Following closely behind Emirates in terms of number of passengers was Ethiopian Airlines with 22,653 inbound passengers and 24,508 outbound passengers.
According to the International Air Transport Association in its January passenger traffic analysis, airlines based in Africa continue to record growth.
The IATA said year-on-year growth in international passengers flown by airlines based in Africa rose to 5.1 per cent January.
It, however, stated that although this was an improvement compared to December 2018, the upward trend in sub-Saharan Africa passenger traffic had generally softened in recent months with businesses remaining concerned about the economic outlook in key countries in the region.
“Indeed, business confidence has been falling sharply in Nigeria since November and remains below the 50-mark consistent with contraction for Egypt and South Africa,” the IATA said.
The Managing Director, Aglow Aviation Support Services, Mr Tayo Ojuri, said one of the key factors that had been influencing the increase in passenger traffic was the liberalisation in the Nigerian aviation market and the Nigeria business environment.
“Furthermore, the little improvement in airport infrastructure and services also influenced the passenger and aircraft movement,” he added.