‘Four million travelers used Nigerian airports in Q1 2015’

Lagos Airporrt. Photo; wikimedia

Lagos Airporrt. Photo; wikimedia

Number of international passengers drops

A total of 3,710,618 million passengers traveled through Nigeria’s airports in the opening quarter of 2015,the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said.

This is even as the volume of travelers from Nigerian airports to international destinations have dropped.
The data contained in Q4 2014-Q1 2015 Aviation report and made available to the Guardian also indicated that the figure represented a decline by 453,144 passengers or 10.88% when compared with the preceding quarter.

The report further indicated a rise in patronage level which peaked in Q4 of 2014, with 4,163,762 million passengers traveling, up 227,744 or 5.59% from Q3 of the same year.

The NBS said highest numbers of international passengers for both Q3 of 2014 and Q1 of 2015 were recorded at the Murtala Mohammed Airport(MMA) Lagos with 852,049 passengers or 71.36% of the total in Q4, passenger numbers declined by 153,320 or 17.99% in Q1, to 698,729 or 48.22% of the total. Year on year, MMA airport recorded declines in passenger numbers in both Q4 of 2014 and Q1 of 2015, of 29,733 or 3.37% and 85,750 or 10.93% in each quarter respectively.

According to the quarterly report,year on year, the Q1 2015 volume of travelers was 294,011 passengers or 8.61% greater than that figures recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2014, whereas Q4 was 594,317 passengers or 16.65% greater than the number recorded in the closing quarter of 2013.

Declines in total number of passengers using the airports in the first quarter,the NBS said was as a result of lower numbers of domestically traveling passengers which stood at 708,092 or 23.84% below Q4 of 2014 values, whereas volume of international passengers increased by 254,948 passengers or 21.35%. The bureau also noted that the quarterly rise observed in Q4 of 2014 was driven solely by higher domestic passenger numbers, increasing by 320,544 or 12.10% relative to the preceding quarter, whereas internationally bound travelers declined by 92,800 or 7.21%.

Of the passengers that traveled in Q1 of 2015, a total of 2,261,648 or 60.95% traveled domestically, while 71.32% of travel was domestic in the preceding quarter. The corresponding quarters recorded 68.84% and 65.90% domestic travel in Q1 of 2015 and Q4 of 2014 respectively.

“In the fourth quarter of 2014, the airport with the greatest frequency of domestic passenger traffic was Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, with 1,088,141 passengers, or 36.64% of the total. This was the peak of the airport’s series, having increased by 74,225 passengers or 7.32% from the preceding quarter. The opening quarter of 2015 however, saw a sharp decline in MMA’s domestic passenger traffic, with 191,617 or 17.61% fewer passengers than the preceding quarter. Nonetheless, this decline was lower, relative to the other airports, as MMA held a 3.00% point greater share of the total this quarter, at 39.64%. Year on year, Q1 of 2015, recorded a marginally lower volume of domestic passenger traffic, with 2,372 or 0.26% fewer passengers”, the report said.

The report said however that Q1 of 2015 saw an almost equal decline, of 176,503 passengers or 18.76% yet representing a rise ,year on year, of 63,120 passengers or 9.00% relative to the 701,249 passengers that traveled in Q1 of 2014. Abuja’s share of total domestic passenger traffic increased to 33.80% in the opening quarter.

Port Harcourt continued to hold the third highest volume of passenger traffic, with 329,499 passengers in Q4 of 2014, declining by 64,406 passengers or 19.55% in Q1 of 2015 to 265,093 passengers. Its share of the total however, increased only marginally, from 11.10% in Q4 of 2014 to 11.72% in Q1 of 2015. Relative to the corresponding quarter of 2014, the opening quarter of 2015 still recorded passenger traffic lower by 9,093 persons or 3.32%.

The only positive quarter on quarter passenger growth came from Makurdi airport in Q1 of 2015, with 87 or 16.29% more passengers than in Q4 of 2014. Year on year, Abuja, Ilorin and Kano saw positive growth in 2015’s opening quarter; Kano represented the greatest increase of 19.38%, representing 9,377 more passengers. For the closing quarter of 2014, highest quarterly growth was recorded in Makurdi again, with a 111.07% rise of 281 passengers from Q3 of 2014.

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