Passengers Groan Over 100% Air Fare Hike
This is not best of time for air passengers on domestic flights as they have to contend with high fares.
It was learnt on Monday that fares on major local routes had gone up by as much as 100 per cent.
A review showed that carriers now offer as much as N95, 000 on a one-way ticket between Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Benin routes, among others.
Aviation analysts said the hike was due to rising insecurity in the country, with bandits forcing travelers to abandon the highways for the airports.
Besides, they noted that the limited number of aircraft in the fleet of airlines had pushed up demands for available seats, hence the increase of air tickets.
Records show that flights in the early hours were higher than fares for the afternoon, evening and night flights.
On routes in the northern part of the country, the absence of one of the major players – AZMAN Air – has also reduced the number of carriers and aircraft on the routes.
Relatively, the fares are lower on the southeastern routes, due to the large number of carriers, including Arik Air, Aero Contractors, Ibom Air, United Nigeria Airlines, Air Peace, DANA Air and other carriers.
A passenger, who identified himself as Abdul Biodun, said the Abuja – Lagos flight now attracts about N100, 000.
“That means things are getting really bad, “Biodun said.
Another passenger and industry analyst, Mr. Olumide Ayo said the ending traffic gridlock on the Abuja – Lokoja corridor is enough to push people out of the road and embrace air travel.
Officials of airlines said there was nothing unusual about the current air fare regime because it was becoming increasingly expensive run airline business.
They cited hurdles in getting foreign exchange and the prohibitive costs of repairing aircraft overseas.
Also speaking, an industry analyst, Mr. Tayo Ojuri, belives the entrance of more carriers will force down fares.
Meanwhile, the fare structure may be altered in the days ahead as the commencement of Ramadan fasting may lead to shrink on passenger traffic on some routes.