The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has disclosed that the aviation sector recorded a total number of 3.5 million passengers who passed through Nigerian airports and 54,000 aircraft movements in the first quarter of 2019.
This is 100, 000 more than the figure recorded same period last year.
For 2018 first quarter, traffic was 2.6 million; an indication that Nigeria’s traffic figure had seen an upsurge in the last two years and would continue to grow because a lot of people are now taking to air travel.
It also showed slight improvement in the economy that was ravaged by recession between 2015 and 2017.
During the recession, personal travels fell drastically as average purchasing power dropped abysmally vis-a-vis rising cost of tickets.
However, business travel continued to drive air passenger traffic across the country.
Experts noted that the airline business is often the first hit during recession and improves once the economy picks up or recovers.
There is a consensus from an economic point of view that the situation can only get better.
According to FAAN’s First Quarter Report, the figure represented an increase of 76,397 passengers or 2.23 per cent growth compared to the 3.43 million passengers recorded in the first quarter of 2018.
It also revealed there was 1.87 per cent increase in aircraft movements from 55,030 recorded during the same period in 2018.
According to the report, 2.56 million passengers travelled within the country (domestic), while a total of 951,128 passengers travelled into and out of the country (international) through the airports during the period under review.
The data further showed that 42,905 domestic and 11,095 international flights were operated across the nation’s 22 airports during the period.
The report on the four major airports in the country showed that Murtala Muhammed Airports, Lagos, (Domestic and International Wing) recorded the highest passengers and aircraft movements during the quarter.
The data indicated that Lagos airport recorded 1.53 million passengers, comprising 860,218 on domestic routes and 674,153 on the international routes.
The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja recorded 1.02 million passengers comprising 824,847 on domestic routes, while the international routes recorded 203,954 passengers.
FAAN also disclosed that Port Harcourt International Airport recorded 271,948 passengers comprising 251,410 domestic passengers and 20,538 international.
Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano recorded 322,659 passengers comprising 281,234 domestic and 41,425 international passengers.
The monthly breakdown showed that 1.42 million passengers comprising 789,883 arrivals and 633,069 departures in 18,653 aircraft movements were recorded in the month of January.
In February, 976,112 passengers comprising 462,447 arrivals and 513,665 departures in 18,150 aircraft movements were recorded.
The statistics also showed that a total of 1.11 million passengers comprising of 556,297 arrivals and 554,220 departures in 17,197 aircraft movements were recorded in March.