As the Kaduna International Airport reopened for operation after two months of shutdown, passengers now battle with the over N100,000 per ticket for flights between Abuja and Kaduna.
The airport was closed after a terrorist attack on March 28 at the international airport resulting in the death of a security guard.
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The Abuja-Kaduna train service which provided relief was also attacked with several victims still in captivity just as the Abuja-Kaduna road has been reported to be under attack.
Daily Trust reports that Azman Air resumed flight on Monday from the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos with 42 passengers.
However, some joined the airline from Abuja to Lagos and then connected the flight to Kaduna. This made their trip two-legged, costing between N100,000 and N125,000.
Checks on the website of Azman Air yesterday indicated that a Kaduna flight from Lagos on Friday (today) costs N75,000 for a one-way ticket. For any passenger flying to Lagos to connect Kaduna from Abuja, he would have to pay an extra N50,000 or more to Lagos before flying to Kaduna.
A source said the reopening of the Kaduna Airport was facilitated by the state government through a committee raised to assess the transportation situation.
“The traders specifically made a case to the state government that bringing their goods to the state has been very difficult in view of the closure of the airport and the train service. So, you can be sure people were ready to pay even if it would cost almost N150,000 just to avoid the Abuja-Kaduna highway,” the source said.
Executive Director, Zenith Travels and Consult, Mr. Olumide Ohuanyo, said there was nothing unusual about the cost.
He said, “The air fare is deregulated. Airlines are at liberty to fix any fare. They just have to file notification to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority. With that, it is easier for the airlines and the passengers to determine their fares using the forces of demand and supply.
“Presently, Kaduna is one of the most dangerous cities to go into by land, either by road, rail or if there is water transportation. So, it is a hot cake. Tickets are programmed in such a way that they increase as demand increases,” he noted.