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 Airport Traffic Records 9% Drop

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Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos
Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos

Figures published by the National Bureau of Statistics reveal that the aviation sector has recorded a 9% decline in terms of Airport traffic in the second quarter of 2016.

The report showed a reduction in the numbers of aircraft, travellers, cargo weight as well as mails that were moved during the period as against what obtained in the first quarter of the year.

According to the NBS report, 54,405 aircraft arrived at, or departed from Nigerian airports in the second quarter of the year; a 9% reduction from the 59,808 aircraft recorded in the first quarter.

“A total of 59,808 aircraft arrived at, or departed from Nigerian airports in the first quarter of 2016, a decrease of 6.6 per cent relative to the previous quarter, and of 7.7 per cent relative to the first quarter of 2015.”

Also in the first quarter of 2016, a total of 3,549,360 passengers were recorded across Nigeria’s airports, but that figure reduced to 3,532,775 in the second quarter.

The report also revealed that there were 2,475,448 domestic passengers in the first quarter of 2016 and 2,411,251 in the second quarter, representing quarterly decline of 9.1 per cent and 2.6 per cent, respectively.

The aviation sector of the Nigerian economy has been one of the hardest hit by the current recession being experienced in the country.

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A number of airline operators have either suspended operations or have been operating on a partial basis.

Recently, Emirates airlines and Kenya Airways announced that they were suspending flight operations to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

While suspension of Emirate flights took effect from October 22, that of Kenya Airlines would begin on November 15, 2016.

However, it appears plans are already at advanced stages by the federal government to concession the four major Nigerian Airports in order to achieve better results.

In September, two committees namely: the Project Steering Committee and the Project Delivery Committee, were inaugurated by the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, in Abuja, to oversee the process to concession.

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