Fuel Subsidy Removal: Airlines Record Passenger Boost
As the country wakes up to the removal of fuel subsidy, indigenous airlines are still enjoying a boost in their operations due to increased passenger traffic following the holiday period.
However, cost of car hire services have increased more than 200 per cent following the increase in the price of premium motor spirit (fuel) from N65 to about N141 per litre.
But airfares have not increased because aviation fuel otherwise known as Jet A- one was deregulated many years ago. At the new domestic terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, the departure hall was brimming with passengers, who were either purchasing tickets at the counter or proceeding for boarding, even as some airlines were charging low air fares to major destinations.
Among the airlines that operated flights were Aero, DANA Air, First Nation Airways, Arik Air and Air Nigeria. But, for commuters, it was a tale of woes for many airport and airline workers, as they had to pay over hundred per cent increase in transport fares.
On the Ikeja- Airport route, commuters had to pay N100 as against N50 hitherto paid by passengers. Car hire operators also increased their charges to drop off passengers from the initial N2, 000.00 to about N6, 000.00.
Many passengers who arrived in Lagos on inbound flight were stranded, as they could not pay the high charges by car hire operators at both the old and new domestic terminals of the Lagos airport. Some passengers who complained of the astronomical increase in transport fare waited at the bus stop, wondering why the operators would effect such increase.
Consequently, some of the passengers walked long distances between Ikeja and other parts of the metropolis.
James Okafor who returned to Lagos on Oweri flight, said that with the increase in transport fares, some people may consider exploring travelling by air.