Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Domestic Flight Operations Resume In Nigeria Today After 3 Months Break

There was low ticket booking on Tuesday ahead of to Wednesday’s resumption of domestic flights in Lagos and Abuja, Daily Trust has learnt. The resumption was 102 days after local and international flights were suspended in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Flight resumption: Last cabin row for passengers’ isolation NAF: Flights into healthy interventions Flights would resume at Port Harcourt, Kano and Owerri airports on July 11; and others, July 15 as announced last week by the Federal Government. Some airlines’ managers said that there had not been much rush for tickets by passengers.

A travel agent said booking had not picked up ahead of flight resumption on Wednesday. The Chief Executive Officer of Aero Contractors, Capt. Ado Sanusi, said many people were sceptical about travelling, but assured that with all the protocols put in place, there was no cause for alarm. It was also learnt that airfares have marginally increased ahead of the flight resumption. Checks by Daily Trust indicated that Lagos-Abuja one-way ticket cost between N29,189 and N33,000 on booking 48 hours to the flight.

“Ordinarily, before the COVID-19 crisis, you could get between N21,000 and N25,000 ticket when booking like two days before the travel time, but we are seeing a slight increase with most airlines starting with N33,000.

“The cheapest you are seeing is N29,000 for a one-way ticket for Lagos-Abuja,” a travel agent explained. An aviation stakeholder, Alex Nwuba, said the increase in airfare was not significant if compared with the cost of doing business “that has doubled”, noting that the present fare regime was not even sustainable. Domestic airports resume with 3 flights as NCAA approves 6 airlines As the airports reopen for domestic flights Wednesday, only three flights are expected to operate between Lagos and Abuja, it was learnt.

Meanwhile, Director-General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Musa Nuhu, has said six airlines out of the eight scheduled domestic carriers would commence operations. He disclosed this last night at the stakeholders’ webinar to assess the level of preparedness for the industry restart. Statistics by the Industry Restart Committee indicated that all the components of the sector including the airports, airlines, ground handling companies, have scored above average and are ready to go.

Air navigation service providers scored 93, airlines scored 94.4, domestic airports scored 87 while the ground handlers and Aviation security were rated 75 each in terms of preparedness which is above average. The DG said significant progress has been made and the industry is ready to resume after 102 days of flights suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also disclosed that the two ground handling companies- the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company PLC and the Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc had been approved to start operations.

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