Holiday Rush: Passengers Stranded At Airports, Ticket Fares Up

imageTravellers at the Murtala Muhammed Airport at Ikeja, Lagos yesterday. | Photo: Benedict Uwalaka
The Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) was a beehive of activities yesterday following increased passengers volume occasioned by the Christmas and Eid el- Maulud holidays.
Hundreds of passengers were seen stranded at Lagos and Abuja local airports as most flights were fully booked on the major routes when our correspondents visited yesterday.
At the domestic terminal 2 (MMA2), our correspondent observed long queue of passengers travelling for the holidays. The counters of airlines like FirstNation Airways, Aero Contractors Airline, Dana Airline, AZMAN Airline, Medview Airline witnessed long queues of passengers booking for various routes.
The most patronized, according to our findings, are the Lagos-Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Kaduna, Owerri, Enugu, Yola, Kaduna and Asaba routes.
At the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) otherwise known as MMA1, passengers experienced some delays while others could not even get flights to their destinations.
It is the terminal that Arik Air, Overland Airways and Air Peace airline majorly operate.
At Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja (NAIA) our reporter saw a large number of passengers travelling for the Christmas holidays. Although the heavy human and vehicular traffic which characterized the airport before the Christmas eve has thinned down, passengers still flocked both terminals of the airport yesterday.
Checks at the counters of Aero and Arik airlines indicated that their flights had been fully booked for yesterday and today.
A search on the online booking platforms of the airlines also showed that all their flights were fully booked.
No seats were available for Aero’s Non-Flexible Economy, Flexible Economy and Business Class flights for today, same as Air Peace’s Economy and Business Class flights.
Although the price of tickets purchased on the counter and online platforms of the airlines differ depending on a numbers of factors, checks by our reporter indicated that fares on the online platforms have since increased.
Prior to the yuletide, air fares as cheap as N10,000 and N12,000 could be bought from the airline websites. But now, the least cost of an Abuja-Lagos economy flight is around N16,200 while business class flights cost as high as N40-N50,000. Also, Air Peace’s economy tickets cost N16,032 and N18,677 while business class tickets go for N34,014.
Arik’s fare ranged between N21,350 for economy and N43,093 for business class.
Many passengers who spoke to our correspondent said they were still waiting, hoping to get flight by the evening.
A passenger, Engr. Ademola Peters who said he regularly patronizes First Nation, told our reporter he bought an Abuja to Lagos ticket for N29,000. He said it used to be N19,000.
Mr. Friday Osuogo, who spoke with our correspondent while waiting to board Air Peace flight to Enugu, stated that he was told the flight had been fully booked.
There was also increased security presence at the local terminals while aviation security personnel were also seen aiding passengers’ facilitation.
General Manager, Corporate Affairs of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Yakubu Dati, said the authority had put in place all the necessary measures to cope with before, during and after the holidays. He said security was also beefed up at the airport while all the airlines have been encouraged to ensure seamless flight operations and passenger facilitation across all the airports in the country.
As at the time of filing this report, many passengers were still stranded at the airport due to flight scarcity.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *