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4 days after presidential, NASS elections, airlines reduce flights by 60%

As the Presidential election results collation continues amidst tension across the country, airlines operating domestic operations have continued to carry out skeletal operations over shortage…

As the Presidential election results collation continues amidst tension across the country, airlines operating domestic operations have continued to carry out skeletal operations over shortage of passengers, Daily Trust can report. 

Checks at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja Lagos yesterday showed that all the domestic terminals recorded very slight passenger movements.

It was gathered that airlines have reduced flights by less than 50 percent. 

Daily Trust reports that virtually all the 11 domestic airlines including Air Peace, Azman Air, Max Air, among others, suspended flights on election day on Saturday to resume on Monday while only international airlines were still operating. 

But despite the resumption of operations by the airlines, they still continue to operate skeletally due to the absence of passengers. 

An operator said, “Honestly the airport is dry as you can see. All the airlines that have like 10 routes have reduced to three or 5. So we are just doing skeletal operations. 

“All the airlines couldn’t resume full operations. Before we can begin to have full operations, maybe it would be next week Monday.”

Another airport source said some people were returning to their destinations after the election but the movement is not much.

“Today for instance we have five flights instead of 10. Today, we have only five. We operated Yola, we operated Maiduguri, Kano, Kebbi and Kano again. You can see we did just half because the turnaround of the passengers is very low,” said an official of Max Air. 

It was further gathered that very few people were going to Abuja without returning immediately. 

“At least by Monday or even you can’t even say this is how it would be. Because some people would just go back for the next election. So few are coming back from now till Friday and from Monday till next Friday, they are going back for the next election,” another operator said.

The next set of elections for the governorship positions in the 36 states of the Federation except for Kogi, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Osun and Ondo; as well as state assembly elections would hold on March 11.

Nigeria’s economy suffering – Expert 

An aviation analyst, Mr Olumide Ohunayo said the ongoing elections have crippled commercial activities across the country.

He said many businesses are doing skeletal operations because of the tension in the land, saying this does not happen in advanced countries. 

He said, “So, we need to move our elections away from this present manual system. In advanced countries, people go about their normal business when there are elections. 

“Today, airlines are not working, companies are not open and we are losing more money as a country.

“We also need to improve security. Nigerians are scared of post-election riots. This is affecting the economy of the country. If you can’t go out and make money, it has a multiplier effect, it affects the economy of the country. Airlines cannot deploy their aircraft because there are no passengers to carry.

“Nobody is ready to go to Abuja now because those you are going there to see are not open.

The Presidential election has not been completed and already there is tension and when there is tension,  it would affect investment.”


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