By Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi
Domestic airlines operating in the country are currently having full passenger load as the number of travelers increase at Yuletide.
Punch gathered on Monday that almost all the airlines’ already had their flights fully booked for the week and were trying to increase frequencies.
Visits to some of the airlines’ websites also confirmed the information as most of their routes both economy and business class, were sold out.
Analysts had predicted a surge in passenger traffic at this time as there has been no scarcity or increase in the price of aviation, and the weather has also remained stable, helping airlines to achieve more flight frequencies.
The Media and Communications Manager, Dana Air, Mr Kingsley Ezenwa, stated that there had been huge passenger surge, especially on the southeastern routes.
“We have been having 100 per cent passenger load, especially on the south-east route. The surge on Enugu and Owerri routes is massive. For instance, even if you put three flights on Owerri route, each of the flights will still be full. So we have had to increase our flights to meet demand,” he said.
It was gathered that airfares had also remained stable with a marginal increase in reaction to the surge in the number of passengers.
The Corporate Communications Manager, Air Peace, Mr Chris Iwarah, told our correspondent that last year, average fare price for economy class tickets was between N21, 000 and N41, 000 while business class tickets were sold between N56, 000 and N63, 000 on most routes.
He stated that this year, there had been a marginal increase with prices rising to between N23, 000 and N42, 000 for the economy and between N53, 000 and N70, 000 for business class tickets.
“Nothing much has changed, despite the increase in operational costs. The difference in prices also depends on the ticket because tickets are classed differently but despite this, no business class ticket for instance, at its highest level has been sold for more than N70, 000,” he said.
Iwarah said most flights sold out because people booked ahead of time to avoid the rush, adding that despite that, airlines had become creative in scheduling flights to accommodate more passengers.
“It cannot be so bad that people cannot travel. At Air Peace, for instance, we are scheduling more flights as our aircraft return from maintenance so that more people can travel,” he said.
Ezenwa said price increase had been marginal based on increased demand.