Posted by Adekunle Williams/Solomon Asowata | 5 June 2018 | 1,040 times
The Consumer Protection Directorate of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says 3.2 million air travellers went through the Nigeria airports from January to March 2018.
This is contained in a document released by NCAA on its website on Tuesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the figures show a 28.3 per cent increase compared to the 2.3 million passengers recorded in the first quarter of 2017.
NCAA said that 32 airlines on the international routes operated 3,757 flights and carried 779,936 passengers during the period under review.
It said that 364,793 passengers came into the country, while 415,143 passengers were outbound.
On the domestic route, the eight domestic airlines operated 14,633 flights and transported 2.3 million passengers across the country during the period under review.
The document also stated that over 1.1 million passengers were inbound, while about 1.5 million passengers were outbound.
It said that the airlines on the domestic routes accounted for 59.87 per cent of the passengers’ traffic’, while the international route recorded 40.13 per cent.
Commenting on the development, an aviation and tourism expert, Mr Ikechi Uko, said that Nigeria could become an aviation hub in the West African sub-region, if right policies and infrastructure were put in place.
Uko, who is the promoter of the Akwaaba African Travel and Tourism Market, lauded the Federal Government’s efforts in establishing a new national carrier like the defunct Nigerian Airways.
He told NAN that the move was strategic for development, saying that the aviation section was the catalyst for economic growth.
“It is not just for the bragging rights, there are other strategic reasons why you need a national carrier.
“You need it to improve the skill base of your country and develop access to markets. So, it is not only about business.
“South Africa will tell you that they run a national carrier because of their location in the world. They use it to oil their tourism and trade.
“I think it will help us here in Nigeria to develop our aviation sector that will be strategic to our growth as a nation,” Uko said.
NAN reports that the Federal Government has appointed Transaction Advisers to midwife the establishment of national carrier which is expected to be in operation by December, 2018. (NAN)
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