The monetary value of all air tickets sold by both domestic and foreign airlines operating in Nigeria totalled over N10 billion between January and July 2015, the director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Mukhtar Usman disclosed yesterday.
According Usman, international ticket sales were worth about N8.2 billion, while domestic airlines managed to grab only about N2.4 billion during the period.
The sales figure indicate a whopping 75 per cent gap between leading foreign airlines and Nigeria’s dwindling domestic airlines, with only Arik Air as the indigenous airline on foreign operations.
The NCAA boss who spoke in a keynote address on the state of aviation in Nigeria during at the 21st annual seminar of League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC), also disclosed that the total volume of passengers airlifted between January and July 2015 by the domestic operators stood at 6,061,740, while their foreign counterpart flew 2,341,748 in similar period.
The huge difference in the monetary value of the tickets sales obviously comes from the higher rates of international flights.
“At the moment, lot of foreign airlines are finding Nigeria an investors’ basket. A total number of 15 countries have so far indicated their preparedness to sign Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) with our country, while 13 others on the threshold waiting for renegotiation of their existing BASAs,” said Usman who was represented at the occasion by NCAA’s director of operations and training, Captain Sidi Abdullahi.
The NCAA boss however said the volume of passengers and the revenue generated would have been better if not for the 2015 transition period which resulted in the shutdown of the nation’s air space over a period of time the elections lasted.
He further stated that air crashes had drastically reduced owing to wholesale and robust regulatory oversight by the NCAA even as he commended airlines for internalising the authority’s regulations.
“Our industry’s successes in successive ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audits and Security Audits are incontrovertible evidences that our air transport sector has witnessed increasing growth in recent years,” he said.
He further pointed out that during the last ICAO Security Audit, Nigeria scored 96.45 per cent, adding that the American Transport Security Administration (TSA) and European Union (EU) security experts have at various times scrutinised Nigeria’s security systems and that the country had excelled with minimal open items.
“As a matter of fact, NCAA is the only Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the world that has four (4 nos) ICAO Certified Auditors on its staff list. These Auditors are now being invited by ICAO to join other experts to carry out Audits on other countries. One of them has just returned from an audit exercise in Tanzania and Mali,” he noted.
Source : Leadership