Nige­ria Records Low Growth in Air Pas­sen­ger Traf­fic

THISDAY - - BUSINESS WORLD - AVI­A­TION Chinedu Eze

To­tal pas­sen­ger move­ment fig­ures in 2016 and 2017 in­di­cated that Nige­ria recorded lower pas­sen­ger traf­fic last year de­spite the fact that eco­nomic re­ces­sion peaked in 2016 and started eas­ing in 2017 as in­dices show that the econ­omy wit­nessed a re­bound with the reduction of ex­change rate from N500 per dol­lar at the height of the re­ces­sion to the cur­rent N360.

Pas­sen­ger traf­fic move­ment records from the Fed­eral Air­ports Author­ity of Nige­ria (FAAN) showed that the to­tal pas­sen­ger move­ment in 2017 was 13, 704, 215, while the fig­ures in 2016 was 14, 361, 587; in­di­cat­ing a reduction by about 4.6 per cent.

Do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional pas­sen­ger traf­fic for ma­jor air­ports of La­gos, Abuja, Kano and Port Har­court showed that there was con­sis­tent reduction in pas­sen­ger move­ment in 2017 when com­pared to 2016.

Fig­ures for the do­mes­tic pas­sen­ger move­ment for the Mur­tala Muhammed In­ter­na­tional Air­port (MMIA), La­gos in 2017 was 3, 684, 052, while that of 2016 was 3, 748,833, show­ing a reduction by 1.7 per cent.

In­ter­na­tional pas­sen­ger move­ment for La­gos air­port in 2017 was 2, 869,099, while that of 2016 was 2, 945, 914, show­ing 2.6 per cent reduction.

The Nnamdi Azikiwe In­ter­na­tional Air­port, Abuja recorded in the same pe­riod do­mes­tic pas­sen­ger mo­ment of 2, 826, 113 in 2017 and 3, 344,164 in 2016 with reduction of 15. 5 per cent. Also, the in­ter­na­tional pas­sen­ger traf­fic for the air­port was 734, 509 in 2017 and 885, 926 in 2016 with reduction of 17.1 per cent.

The fig­ures also showed that in 2017, the Mal­lam Aminu Kano In­ter­na­tional Air­port, Kano recorded do­mes­tic pas­sen­ger move­ment of 253, 578 and 255, 568 in 2016 with reduction of 0.8 per cent, while in­ter­na­tional pas­sen­ger move­ment in 2017 was 186, 795 and 202, 589 in 2016 with reduction of 7.8 per cent.

Port Har­court In­ter­na­tional Air­port, Omagwa recorded do­mes­tic pas­sen­ger move­ment of 865,659 in 2017 and 974, 028 in 2016 with reduction of 11.1 per cent; while in­ter­na­tional pas­sen­ger traf­fic was 81, 125 in 2017 and 91, 499 in 2016 with reduction of 11.3 per cent.

Beyond com­par­i­son be­tween 2017 and 2016, in­dus­try ex­perts have ob­served that pas­sen­ger growth fig­ures in the last five years hov­ers be­tween 13 to 16 mil­lion, thus de­fy­ing pro­jec­tions that in 2030 pas­sen­ger traf­fic would hit 31 mil­lion an­nu­ally while that of Africa would hit 400 mil­lion.

The ex­perts noted that so far Nige­ria is not record­ing sub­stan­tial in­crease in air pas­sen­ger move­ment and de­spite the fact that the na­tion’s econ­omy is grow­ing, there seemed to be no growth in ca­pac­ity in air trans­port sec­tor.

The fig­ures also in­di­cate that in the next 12 years, Nige­ria will in­crease its pas­sen­ger traf­fic by about 18 mil­lion in or­der to meet the 31 mil­lion pro­jec­tions by 2030.

Travel ex­pert and or­gan­iser of Ak­waaba African Travel Mar­ket, Ikechi Uko re­act­ing to the pas­sen­ger growth fig­ures, said that pas­sen­ger move­ment is de­ter­mined by the ca­pac­ity of the econ­omy, avail­able air­port in­fra­struc­ture, seat sup­plies by air­lines, not­ing that there have not been new air­lines com­ing into the coun­try, which means that the num­ber of air­craft seats have re­mained about the same.

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