Total international air passenger traffic dropped by 27.93 per cent or as much as 406,369 passengers in the second quarter of the year (Q2 2015) compared to the preceding quarter, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). It said a total of 1,048,598 passengers were involved in international air travel in the quarter under review. Domestic air passenger traffic, on the other hand, showed a marginal rise quarter-on-quarter by 16,752 passengers or 0.71 per cent more passengers who travelled in the second quarter than in the first quarter of 2015. Total domestic bound air passengers for the period stood at 2,374,479 passengers, representing 69.37 per cent of the total number of passengers, up by 7.53 per cent from the preceding quarter but down by 1.35 per cent from the corresponding quarter of 2014.
According to NBS, the lower number of air passenger travellers in Q2 largely resulted in the overall decline in air passenger traffic which stood at 3,423,077 passengers in Q2 compared to 3,710,618 passengers in the previous quarter. According to the Nigerian Aviation Sector Summary Report for Q2 2015 released by the statistical agency, the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos continued to dominate domestic passenger travel in the quarter, accounting for 936,029 passengers or 39.42 per cent in the second quarter. “Despite still recording passenger numbers lower than in Q2 of 2014, with year-on-year growth of 70,758 passengers or 7.03 per cent, quarterly numbers were up with a rise of 39,505 passengers or 4.41 per cent from the preceding quarter,” it added.
The Abuja airport had the second largest portion of Q2 domestic passenger traffic at 787,067 passengers or 33.15 per cent of the total, representing a decline of 58,176 passengers or 6.88 per cent year-on-year and a rise of 22,698 passengers or 2.97 per cent from the preceding quarter. It noted that the airports to record positive year-on-year growth were Katsina, increasing by 668 passengers or 319.62 per cent; Owerri, which increased by 9,243 passengers or 11.12 per cent; and Yola, which increased by 1,121 passengers or 3.09 per cent. The greatest quarterly passenger growth was recorded for Ibadan airport, in which an additional 10,249 or 222.08 per cent more passengers travelled in Q2 compared to Q1, increasing the total from 4,615 passengers to 14,864 passengers. Also, aircraft movement was down in Q2 by 5,350 flights or 8.64 per cent from the preceding quarter, and by 7,746 flights or 12.04 per cent from the same quarter of 2014. “The 56,599 aircraft that arrived and departed to and from Nigeria’s airports consist of 45,452 domestically bound flights, making up 80.31 per cent of the total, whilst the remaining 11,147 flights or 19.69 per cent were internationally bound,” it stated.