Air­lines ex­pand routes as pas­sen­ger traf­fic rises

The Punch - - FRONT PAGE - Mau­reen Ihua-maduenyi

TO ac­com­mo­date the in­crease in pas­sen­ger traf­fic dur­ing the Christmas sea­son, many do­mes­tic air­lines have been ex­pand­ing their routes and flight fre­quen­cies.

air­lines are par­tic­u­larly in­creas­ing their flight fre­quen­cies on routes in the eastern part of the coun­try fol­low­ing the clo­sure of the akanu Ibiam In­ter­na­tional air­port enugu which had ne­ces­si­tated the di­ver­sion of traf­fic to other air­ports in neigh­bour­ing states.

Our cor­re­spon­dent gath­ered that all the air­lines fly­ing into Ow­erri have in­creased the num­ber of flights they would op­er­ate dur­ing the sea­son.

While some in­creased from one to two, oth­ers have in­creased from one flight daily to three.

The monopoly en­joyed by air Peace on La­gos-as­aba has also been bro­ken as arik air re­turned to the route and az­man air in­au­gu­rated flights to the city.

As early as Novem­ber, some of the flights be­tween De­cem­ber 20 and 28 had sold out as tick­ets rose by over 100 per cent.

Our cor­re­spon­dent had re­ported that at the be­gin­ning of Novem­ber, an av­er­age do­mes­tic flight ticket which sold be­tween N25, 000 and N27, 000 for econ­omy class and be­tween N53, 000 and N75, 000 for busi­ness class shot up to N58, 000 for econ­omy and about N85, 000 and above for busi­ness class be­gin­ning from mid-novem­ber.

An av­er­age econ­omy ticket for a round trip which was about N48, 000 be­tween the end of Oc­to­ber and be­gin­ning of Novem­ber is now close to N120, 000 de­pend­ing on the route.

The me­dia and com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager, Dana air, mr Kings­ley ezenwa, said apart from ex­pan­sion, some air­lines had been con­sol­i­dat­ing on their ex­ist­ing routes due to pas­sen­ger surge.

“Dana is not ex­pand­ing for now but we are cre­at­ing more flights where nec­es­sary to en­sure pas­sen­gers are not stranded,” he said.

He stated that air­lines ex­pected the surge which was the norm at this time of the year, and had pre­pared.

The com­mu­ni­ca­tions Ex­ec­u­tive of Air Peace, Stan­ley Olisa, said the ex­pan­sion of flights was the only way air­lines could cope with the in­crease in pas­sen­ger traf­fic.

ac­cord­ing to him, most air­lines fly­ing into the eastern part of the coun­try had to in­crease their flight fre­quen­cies as a re­sponse to the in­creased de­mand.

•L-R: As­sis­tant Gen­eral Man­ager, Brand­ing, Com­mu­nity Re­la­tions and Cor­po­rate So­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity, Ba­batunde Lasaki; Prin­ci­pal Co­or­di­nat­ing Of­fi­cer to the Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Eko Elec­tric­ity Distri­bu­tion Com­pany, Funmi Safiriyu; Head of Busi­ness Per­for­mance, Funto Amire; Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor/ceo, EKEDC, Mr Adeoye Fadey­ibi; Gen­eral Man­ager, Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Mr God­win Ide­mu­dia; and Chief Le­gal Of­fi­cer, Wola Joseph, dur­ing the con­fer­ment of fel­low­ship award on Fadey­ibi by the Nige­rian In­sti­tu­tion of Me­chan­i­cal En­gi­neers in La­gos... on Wed­nes­day. Photo: Goke Fa­madewa

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