Ahead of domestic flights resumption, Airlines hike fares by 120%
Ahead of Wednesday’s reopening of Nigeria’s domestic airspace, many of the local airlines have hike ticket prices in a bid to make up for lost revenues during the lockdown.
Nigeria has slated July 8, for the resumption of domestic flights in Lagos and Abuja, more than three months after the government announced restrictions of movements in some part of the country in a move to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
Dana Air, Arik Air, Air Peace and the rest have all increased their fares for both business and economy class for an hour plus flights between Lagos and the federal capital Abuja by as much as 120 percent.
Prior to the announcement of the closure of flight operations across the country, one hour fare for economy class between Lagos and Abuja was going for around N15,000 and N40,000 depending on the booking arrangement by passengers.
However, with the planned reopening, most of the airlines have hike their fares to between N33,000 for an hour flight schedule between Lagos and Abuja for economy class, while business class would be going for between N60,000 and 70,000 in some airlines schedule.
A breakdown reported by Punch Newspaper showed that the new fares were influenced by some factors, which include airport taxes and other aviation agencies levies.
For instance, Air Peace’s plans to charge N33,001 for economy class between Lagos and Abuja, but the actual fare was N14,239 by the airline while the balance of N18,762 consists of airport taxes and other charges by the aviation authority.
The same goes for the other airlines as the bulk of to cost of air tickets are loaded with charges by the various aviation agencies operating in at the airports.
While interacting with the national assembly members recently, the minister of aviation Hadi Siriki said new protocols have been introduced toward the resumption of flight operations on the domestic route.
“All those who have no business traveling will certainly have no business to enter the airport. They will not enter the airport, not at all.
“So, anybody coming into the airport this time around as a personality, a minister or even our honourable members, distinguished senators, will not be carrying their aides into the airports anymore,” the minister told the parliament.
He had earlier announce the beginning of flight operations on Abuja and Lagos route from Wednesday, July 8, while those in Kano, Port Harcourt, Maiduguri and Owerri will resume operations three days after. There is no date for the resumption of international flights yet.
The aviation industry has been the most affected by the lockdown introduced in the wake of the outbreak of covid-19, with the minister of aviation putting the losses being recorded by the sector at N24 billion on a monthly basis.
Some of the local airlines had announced various measures to secure their operations from going under. Airlines such as Arik and Peace came out to announce compulsory leave without pay for its workers, while many of the supporting staff and suppliers have been out of business since the lockdown.