Airfares across Nigeria have increased by up to 100%, as confirmed by recent inspections by Nairametrics. Ticket prices for cities like Port Harcourt, Ilorin and northern states like Kebbi, Borno, Adamawa and Kano have increased by up to 100% in the last 1 months.
Business and student travelers who spoke to Nairametrics about their experience expressed shock and anger at rising airfares in Nigeria, especially as road travel remains risky due to the activities of bandits and kidnappers.
One of them, Olaoluwa Owoeye, told Nairametrics that he was shocked to find that the price of airfare from Lagos to Port Harcourt had increased over 100%, from N26,000 to N60,000 (air peace) and that flights into the city were up fully booked on April 12, 2021.
Another air traveler, Tobi Hassan, a postgraduate student at Kwara State University, also lamented the recent price increase to Ilorin. “The price had gone from N27,000 to N52,500 when I checked last week. I had no choice but to pay for the Overland Airline ticket because I can’t afford to travel by road, ”he said.
Meanwhile, Wale Richard, the executive director of an AgroTech company based in Lagos but with customers in the state of Kebbi, told Nairametrics that he was also surprised to find that the price had increased by over 100% for the state.
According to him, a one-way flight from Lagos to Kano that was 35,000 N now cost between 56,000 and 90,000 N on Max Air (depending on how early the flight was booked), while on Air it is 73,000 N rest for a second day flight .
Another air traveler, Bimbola Omotayo, an attorney who has defended some cases in Kano, Kaduna and Abuja, told our analyst that she had observed tariffs rising a few days after the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) stopped operating Azman Air.
These are just four of the hundreds of air travelers who have traveled from Lagos to different parts of the country. Many of them endured the increase with equanimity and did not want to expose themselves to the dangers of road traffic given the high level of uncertainty in different parts of the country.
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Checks by Nairametrics showed that a one-way trip from Lagos to Port Harcourt via Air Peace, which was around N26,000, now costs over N50,000.
In addition, Lagos to Kano via Max Air, which was around 40,000 N, now costs 90,500 N (economy tickets from 11:50 p.m. on Saturday).
What experts said about the hike
An aviation advisor, Muyiwa Lucas, attributed the recent surge in the naira dollar to the rise in airfare, as developments exposed local airlines to more financial needs.
According to him, most airlines spend in dollars.
“The airlines’ biggest concern is the high maintenance costs. A C-Check, which is required every 18 months, now costs over $ 2 million per airliner on average.
Maintenance is only part of other commitments. So if you have N26,000 tickets now selling for N60,000 or more, you can’t really blame the airlines, but rather the economy and their handlers.
Most airlines with multiple aircraft have reduced their frequencies and routes in order to be able to reduce losses. Tariffs have increased because the government did not help operators and forced them to spread the cost across the available traffic. They feel the pain of their patrons, but survival is of the utmost importance to them, ”said Lucas.
On the other hand, some industry watchers argued that air travelers serving the northern routes had to pay double the usual fare before tariffs to the other parts of the country increased.
One of them, Kayode Bello, stated that shortly after the NCAA shut down Azman Air, tariffs to the northern parts of the country had increased by over 100%.
An aviation advisor, Chris Aligbe, told Nairametrics that while it was not justified to attribute the increase to the recent NCAA suspension of Azman Air, the sector has seen similar trends in the past.
He said, “I cannot give reasons for the hike as I haven’t done my development research, but we’ve seen similar cases in this sector where an airline stops operating on one route and competitors on that route lose their fare increase. That happens in the industry. “
For travel agency Gbemi Adeniji, Azman Air’s suspension has further worsened connectivity across the country. Although she agreed that there were no facts to support the claim that the airline’s suspension was directly responsible for the development, she argued that other airlines would increase the fare when there were limited options for passengers.
She said, “We have limited options in Kano, Kaduna, Maiduguri and even Abuja. With the suspension, the price is supposed to rise, because when demand exceeds supply, prices in the industry tend to rise. “
Prior to the NCAA’s suspension of Azman Air, the airline operated 15 daily flights to most destinations in the north, including Kano, its operational base, Maiduguri, Kaduna, Kebbi and Yola.
What the NCAA says
How long does the hike take? The experts agreed that if the suspension is lifted, normality can return to the track.
In an exclusive interview on Saturday, NCAA spokesman Sam Adurogboye told Nairametrics that he was unsure when the full audit report would be ready to be presented to the agency’s director general.
He said, “It is the result of the audit that determines what happens next. Once the airline has addressed the NCAA’s safety concerns, it will be asked to resume operations immediately.
“The idea behind the audit is to support the airline, not kill it, and also ensure that the lives of the passengers are secured. I don’t know if it will take them a while to complete the process. We assure Nigerians and other stakeholders that the NCAA will do everything it can to protect the interests of all. “
What you need to know
On March 16, 2021, the NCAA suspended Azman Air operations with immediate effect due to a number of incidents involving its Boeing 737 aircraft.
This was disclosed in a statement from the NCAA and signed by its general manager, Captain Musa Nuhu.
It states: “Following a series of incidents involving Azman Air Boeing 737 aircraft, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority under Section 35 (2) of the Civil Aviation Act 2006 and Part 22.214.171.124 (A) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Ordinance 2015 has taken effect March 15 Azman Air Services Limited’s fleet of Boeing 737s will cease to operate in 2021. “