The Nigerian commercial aviation industry has contributed about $0.7 billion (N137.9 billion) to the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and projected investment of $12 billion in the short and medium term that would lead to passengers’ growth, between 12 and 25 million by 2018.
Industry data revealed that Nigeria’s passenger traffic for inbound and outbound destinations soared to 21 million in 2014, surpassing the 2013 record by over 20 percent.
Head, Aviation Finance for Africa at Investec, Melanie Humphries says: “There has been tremendous economic growth in Nigeria and with the increase in wealth and the expansion of trade and business opportunities, the demand for business travel has also expanded.”
“The primary reason is that business aircraft are a necessary tool for many high net worth individuals and corporates that do business in and around Africa. Poor regional connectivity and limited infrastructure means that air travel is still the preferred mode of transport for passengers and cargo – presenting an opportunity for the aviation industry in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
“In fact, business jets in Africa, and the access, predictability and passenger safety they provide, are playing a critical role in realising the continent’s growth potential,” he said.
Furthermore, he stated that the African business aviation market has been resilient through the global financial crisis and new aircraft sales fared better than developed markets such as Europe and North America.
He said: “Demand for business aircraft is highly correlated to wealth creation, which of course is dependent on economic growth. The African fleet has more than doubled since 2000 and now comprises around 2.4 per cent of the world corporate jet population and as business jets are increasingly being seen as an productive business tool, the long-term prospects for business aviation remain strong.”
According to the statistics, Africa’s business jet fleet has more than doubled in the last 10 years, noting that Africa’s two largest business aircraft registries, South Africa and Nigeria, account for over 50 percent of the entire fleet of business aircraft in all of Africa.