Japa: FG Expresses Concern Over Increasing Emigration Of Nigerians 

Air travellers to some of the selected routes in the country are groaning over the skyrocketing airfares among the indigenous airline operators.

Checks by Nairametrics revealed that airfares in some of the monopolised routes have increased to over N250,000 one-way in economy class seats, while return tickets now sell for about N500,000.

Unlike in the past where air tickets only go high from the Lagos route to other parts of the south, checks revealed that passengers from Abuja to the same routes may pay higher.

Travels in southern parts hit the roof

Travellers to South East and South-South parts of the country now pay more than air travellers on the northern routes like Abuja, Kano and Kaduna among others.

However, some of the stakeholders attributed the high airfares in the southern routes to the festive season, while others warned that the airlines may eventually price themselves out of the market with the high airfares.

There are fears that the high airfares may deprive some of the travellers to the Southern routes of the opportunity for the yuletide season.

For instance, checks on Air Peace from Lagos to Enugu for Tuesday, December 26, indicate a minimum of N203,000 one way and N233,000 for the same flight in the afternoon.

Also, for Owerri on Dana Air, the airfares oscillate between N200,000 to N250,000 for one-way tickets.

On Ibom Air for a flight to Uyo from December 22 to 23, air tickets are sold between N203,000 and N253,000 for one-way.

For passengers on United Nigeria Airlines for December 21 to 23, one-way tickets go for N220,000 and N300,000.

The recent skyrocketing airfares on domestic routes by indigenous airlines are exploitative and may work against the operating carriers, aviation experts have said.

Exploitative airfares

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Aero Contractors, Capt. Ado Sanusi, said that the airfares were exploitative.

According to him, some airfares in select routes are exploitative, mentioning the South East and South South routes as some of the routes the airlines are exploiting the travelling public.

He proposed increased capacity and canvassed for additional airlines to join the existing operators.

We observed that the new regulation by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), which limited start-up airlines to a minimum of six aircraft may further compound the present challenge and allow for more explorations by the existing carriers as the yuletide draws nearer.

He said: “I believe that there are some exploitative prices. I believe so, especially on the monopoly routes. The eastern routes are somehow monopolised and come with exploitative prices.

“It’s the capacity. If we have more airlines coming into the country and the NCAA allows more airlines to fly, then it will bring the price down. The more airlines we have flying, the more competitive it becomes and the more the prices will go down, but since we make regulations that are so hostile to start-up airlines, then, the prices will always go up.”

He also mentioned unstable foreign exchange challenges, the high price of aviation fuel and others as some of the factors responsible for the high airfares, but warned against the airlines pricing themselves out of the market.

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