11 Nigerian airlines earn N167bn from ticket sales in Q1 – The Sun Nigeria

•As flight delays, cancellations  worry domestic travellers


By Chinelo Obogo            [email protected] 


Nigerian carriers on domestic operations earned over N167 billion from flight ticket sales in the first quarter of 2023, Daily Sun can reveal.

A breakdown of local and international traffic for January, February and March of this year, released by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), shows that a total of 2,791,591 passengers travelled locally by air with in-bound at 1,391,560 and out-bound at 1,400,031.

The average cost of economy tickets on most local routes ranged from N60, 000, with some destinations costing over N100, 000. At the minimum rate of N60, 000 and passenger traffic of 2,791,591, the combined number of 11 local airlines operated 18,288 flights (which is 5,223 less when compared to the same period in 2022) and can be said to have earned over N167 billion from ticket sales.

The current figure indicates that 21,361 flights were operated by domestic and international airlines in in first quarter 2023, while a total of 26,584 flights were operated in the same pe-riod in 2022.

On the international routes, NCAA’s reports indicate that Nigeria recorded passenger traffic of 870,776 in and out of the country, 375,700 inbound and 495,076 outbound passengers. These flights were operated by 25 international airlines with 3,073 flights.

Flight delays, cancellations

Meanwhile, NCAA’s records also show that the 11 domestic airlines recorded 10,128 delays, 284 cancellations, while the international airlines recorded 1,193 delays,  with 24 cancellations

Flight delays from local airlines shows Overland Airways had the worst record at 91 per cent, while United Nigeria Airlines had 81 per cent, Azman 73 per cent Dana 72per cent, Max Air 68 per cent, Aero Contractors 68 per cent, Air Peace 66 per cent and Arik Air had the least with 59 per cent.

Arik Air operated 804 flights and had 473 delays, while Azman operated 267 flights and recorded 195 flight delays. Dana Air operated 421 flights and recorded 303 delays, while Overland operated 281 flights and had 257 delays. Max Air had 653 flights with 445 delays and Ibom Air had 850 flights and recorded 295.

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Air Peace operated 2421 flights and recorded 1602 delays, amounting to 66 per cent, while Aero Contractors which operated 465 flights had 314 flights delayed.  Green Africa operated 533 flights and recorded 193 flight delays, while Value Jet had 65 flight delays out of 297 flights operated.

For international operators, Egypt Air had 68 per cent of its flights delayed, Cronos, 60 per cent, South African Airways, 22 per cent, Kenya Airways, 57 per cent, Air Peace, 55 per cent, Air Code d’Ivoire, 54 per cent, RwandAir, 51 per cent, British Airways, 47per cent, Ethiopian Airlines, 43 per cent, Turkish Airlines, 43 per cent, Royal Air Maroc 32 per cent, Africa World Air and 31per cent, while TAAG Angola also had 31 per cent .

Saudi Air recorded 74 per cent delays while the US owned United Airlines had the least flight delays at 3 percent followed by Lufthansa Airlines, Middle East Airlines at 13 per cent; Virgin Atlantic Airways at 14 per cent, Air France and Delta at 19per cent, Qatar Airways at 28 per,  making them the most two reliable airlines in terms of airlines that have fewer delays.

Domestic airlines explain cause of delays, cancellations

Delays and cancellation of flights have remained a sore point for Nigeria’s travel industry and despite the assurance of the Director General of the NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, that Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) 2015 will guarantees that passengers get full refunds when their flights are delayed or cancelled, many passengers have lamented how their flights have been delayed for long hours and even cancelled without explanation or any compensation and in some instances, this has led to physical attacks against airlines by irate passengers.

An aviation consultancy firm, General Sales and Solution Management Limited (GSSM), in a report detailing the effect of delays and cancellation, estimates that N24.2 billion is lost yearly due to these issues.

Executive Director of GSSM, Babatunde Adenijideniji, in his analysis, said: “Report card was filled in red, showing that we failed as an industry to even make the pass grade. Domestic airlines as a whole were only punctual for 41 per cent of operated flights, with Ibom Air and Green Africa and Value jet (new entrants) being the outliers among the 11 operators.”

However, airlines have consistently defended and absolved themselves from the problems of flight delays and cancellations. At a book launch held at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Annex, Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, said the lack of facilities at many of the nation’s airports, including check in counters to serve thousands of passengers during multiple flights have slowed down operations.

He noted that the issue of delays are not solely airlines’ responsibilities as those supposed to provide infrastructure and support the airlines are busy de-marketing Nigerian airlines and saying they are weak.

Citing the Abuja domestic terminal, Onyema said 10 airlines are usually cramped into one small space from where they operate and that facilitation is slowed as a result of lack of capacity of the airport to handle flights from Abuja to destinations like Port Harcourt, Lagos, Kano, Uyo, Asaba etc, all at once.

In 2022, after the National Assembly vowed to summon domestic operators to explain the reason for incessant flight delays and cancellations, the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), released a 16 point rebuttal, defending itself and pointing out why flight delays have persisted and according to the aviation body, 80% of causes of delays and cancellations are factors that are neither in the control of airlines nor caused by them.

Among the reasons listed for delays were weather, inadequate aircraft parking space, restrictions caused by sunset airports, delays due to VIP movements, frequent bird strikes and Foreign Object Damage (FOD), unavailability and high cost of aviation fuel; unavailability of forex for spare parts and maintenance, delays from customs in the clearing of safety-critical spare parts, poor air traffic flow and inadequate check-in counters, inadequate screening and exit points at departure and unserviceable baggage claim machines (carousel), inadequate and unreliable ground services equipment, unruly behaviour of passengers, lack of runway lights as well as unforeseen circumstances due to component failures and ground accidents.

“This is no fault of airlines but yet another delay cause for which the domestic airlines take the fall for the entire system on a daily basis. Frequent bird strikes and Foreign Object Damage (FOD) damage many aircraft during landing, taxiing or take off at airports across the country, thereby forcing the aircraft to be parked abruptly until a replacement can be marshalled to operate a flight. Unavailability and the ever-rising cost of aviation fuel and on top of the continuous rise in fuel price, fuel supply is at best epileptic at several airports thereby causing delays,” the AON said.

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Article source: https://airlines.einnews.com/article/643463636/bhgQ0SKYe3_RE3pf?ref=rss&ecode=vaZAu9rk30b8KC5H

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