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Airlines record 80% drop in patronage

Domestic flight operations have declined by 80 percent. Findings also showed the airlines recorded 1,934 flights since July 8, 2020 when airports were reopened for…

Domestic flight operations have declined by 80 percent.

Findings also showed the airlines recorded 1,934 flights since July 8, 2020 when airports were reopened for commercial flights, after over four months of airports shut down.

About 830 delays were recorded while only five flights were cancelled, and eight airlines operated during the period, it was learnt. They include Aero Contractors, Arik Air, Air Peace, Azman Air, Max Air, Dana Air, Ibom Air and Overland Airways.

Daily Trust however reports that this is a far cry from the average monthly flights airlines recorded before the pandemic. The reopening began with the Murtala Mohammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

For this period, only 202,729 passengers were recorded, comprising of 105,505 inbound and 98,224 outbound passengers.

Averagely, airlines on the domestic routes record 1 million monthly passenger tally, but COVID-19 has crashed this. Airlines do about 20 percent of their capacity as patronage continues to drop while aircraft are parked, an official said.

“The slogan now is you don’t travel when it is not absolutely necessary, that is why you are seeing this but we are hoping that things would improve once the curve of COVID-19 was flattened.”

An aviation analyst, Tayo Ojuri said a survey in July showed that about 10 multinational organizations and 10 companies listed on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) still have travel restrictions for their staff.

He said the commencement of international flights slated for August 29 would also drive domestic traffic.