Flight ticket prices have continued to fluctuate since this year as domestic airlines take steps to further stimulate demand following an apparent lull in demand and passenger traffic.
Consequently economy tickets now range from N40,000 to N70,000, depending on the airline, departure time and route.
President of the National Association of Air Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Abednego Galadima, said that a lull in passenger traffic is often common at the beginning of every year after many passengers have returned from their Yuletide celebrations. He said it was usually the case that as passenger traffic drops, airlines will slash prices in order to fill up seats.
“We are in off -season at the moment when passengers don’t usually travel much and airlines know that if they hike ticket prices, they might not get customers. I am a very frequent traveler but I haven’t travelled in a while and that is the same with most people. The beginning of the year usually experiences a lull in the sector, so airlines have to adjust their prices to the reality on ground,” he said.
In the week preceding the Christmas celebrations, domestic airlines recorded a high spike in ticket sales with a source in Air Peace telling Daily Sun that the airline experienced up to 50 percent increase in over-the-counter sales of tickets and almost 100 percent load factor for many of its routes especially in the South East.
Spokesperson of Dana Air, Kingsley Ezenwa, also confirmed the increase in passenger traffic to Daily Sun in the week preceding the Yuletide but acknowledged that such increase is usually expected during festive seasons.
From December 20th, 2022, a one-way economy ticket from Lagos to Anambra was sold for between N100, 000 and N120, 000 on United Nigeria Airline, while a one way flight to Enugu from Lagos cost same amount. The cost of a one way ticket from Lagos to Anambra cost N100, 000 on an Air Peace flight for Saturday, December 24, while the same class of ticket cost N100, 000 to Asaba.
For Ibom Air, the cost of a one-way economy ticket from Lagos to Enugu was sold for N130, 000 for Monday, December 26 while an economy ticket from Abuja to Akure on Air Peace for Monday, December 26th cost N100, 000. Lagos to Kano on Monday for same day cost N65, 000, while economy ticket from Lagos to Gombe, for Sunday 25th December cost N100, 000. Abuja to Ibadan cost N85, 000, Ilorin to Lagos for Sunday December 25th December was sold for N100, 000, Lagos to Yola, N100, 000 and Lagos to Sokoto cost N85, 000.
However, despite the persistent scarcity of Jet A1, cost of flight tickets have dropped significantly as airlines grapple with passenger drought.
As at Thursday, January 19th, an economy class ticket for a 6.50am flight from Lagos to Abuja for Saturday, January 21 on Arik Air, cost N47, 738, while flight from Lagos to Port Harcourt at 12.45pm cost the same amount. Lagos to Sokoto for Saturday, January 21, cost N71, 262, while Lagos to Maiduguri for Sunday, January, 22, cost N85, 739.
Valuejet, a new operator, sells its economy tickets to most of their routes for N40,000. On Aero Contractors, flights from Lagos to Calabar for Sunday, January 22, cost N43, 095, while flights from Lagos to Asaba for Saturday, January 21, cost the same amount.
At Ibom Air, flights from Lagos to Uyo for Saturday, January 21, costs N55, 000, while flights Lagos to Abuja for the same cost N65, 000. On Dana Air, flights from Lagos to Enugu for Sunday, January 22, cost N40, 000, while for Air Peace, an economy ticket from Lagos to Ilorin for Sunday, January 22, cost N50,000 and Lagos to Abuja for same date, cost the same amount.
Airlines however, have continued to inform their passengers of possibility of flight disruptions due to persistent scarcity of aviation fuel and unpredictable weather conditions.
Cost of Jet A1 has remained at N800 per litre and Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, who is the spokesman of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), said any disruptions in scheduled flight operations is due to the scarcity of fuel or bad weather which may cause airlines to reschedule or cancel flights.