The Gross Domestic Product report released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday has shown that air transport under the transportation and storage sector contracted by 57.38 per cent in Q2 2020 from 5.68 per cent in Q1 2020 and 12.31 per cent in Q2 2019.
Road transport; rail transport and pipelines; water transport; air transport; transport services; and post and courier services which falls under the transportation and storage sector experienced a growth of -41.63 per cent in nominal terms in the second quarter of 2020 (year on year).
This rate was lower relative to the 25.56 per cent recorded for the corresponding quarter of 2019 and the 20.44 per cent in the previous quarter.
In real terms, the transportation and storage sector contracted by –49.23 per cent in Q2 2020. This rate represented a decrease of –57.25 per cent points relative to the same quarter of the previous year and –52.05 per cent points relative to the preceding quarter. Quarter on Quarter, growth was –60.02 per cent.
The report attributed the negative growth rates to restriction of movements as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Part of the report read, “All six activities under transport and storage industry recorded negative growth rates in Q2 2020, reflecting the significant impact of restricted movements as a result of COVID-19 during the quarter.
“Quarter on Quarter growth stood at –59.70 per cent. Transport activities contributed 1.13 per cent to nominal GDP in Q2 2020, a decline from the 1.88 per cent recorded in the corresponding period of 2019, and lower than 2.68 per cent recorded in the first quarter of 2020.”
The situation report is attributable to the recent closure of the airports on March 23 to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.The Federal Government started reopening the airports on July 8.
The nation’s aviation sector has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in significant pay cuts and job losses.
Recently, over 70 pilots were sacked by Air Peace while Bristow Helicopters fired over 100 pilots and engineers.
Ground handling companies have also taken a beating, with the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc recording a loss after tax of N143m for the first half of the year, as against a profit after tax of N467m in the corresponding period of 2019.