One week after flights resumption, airlines record 30% traffic
An Air Peace plane One week after the resumption of domestic flights, passenger traffic remains at between 30 to 40 percent, checks by Daily Trust have shown. Domestic flights started last Wednesday with Lagos and Abuja, and by Saturday, Port Harcourt, Kano, and Owerri flights resumed.
Maiduguri airports safe for flights operations and other airports are to also reopen on Wednesday for commercial flights with Overland, the only domestic carrier, which has not started operations, resuming.
The airlines, which have resumed operations so far are Arik Air, Air Peace, Dana Air, Azman, Max Air, Ibom Air and Aero Contractors.
But since the flights resumed, the airlines have been carrying less than 50 percent of their capacity.
For instance, on the day of the opening, Air Peace had the highest number of passengers on its first flight with 112 passengers on a Boeing 737 aircraft which could take more than 140 passengers depending on the configuration.
Arik Air had less than 80 passengers on its first flight last Wednesday.
But sources said the passengers’ tally had continued to dwindle since the first set of flights last Wednesday.
Analysis of Tuesday’s morning and afternoon flights operated by most of the airlines indicated that all of them carried less than 40 percent of the aircraft capacity.
For instance, a Lagos-Port Harcourt morning flight of one of the airlines had 10 passengers and it returned to Lagos with 34.
Another airline had 28 outbound passengers and recorded 49 inbound passengers.
Also, one of the Abuja-Port Harcourt flights indicated that one of the airlines departed with 58 passengers and returned with 53.
A source in the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) confirmed that passenger traffic has been hovering at between 30 and 40 percent.
Experts believe the domestic traffic would experience a rebound only when the international flights resume.
An aviation analyst, Mr. Tayo Ojuri, had told Daily Trust that 30 percent of the domestic traffic is tied to international operations.
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