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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) have indicated that no fewer than 15,232, 597 air travelers went through Nigeria’s airports in 2016.
The NBS’ report captioned: ‘Fourth Quarter 2016 and Full Year 2016 Air Transportation Data,’ noted that between 2015 and 2016, the number of passengers recorded by the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) increased by 6.3 per cent.
“However, despite the recession which may have been expected to reduce demand for travel, the number of passengers using most airports increased.
“The fall in output was likely to be more of a reflection of increased costs of operations, rather than decreased demand.
“However, since the publication of the last report, FAAN has included data on passengers traveling through more airports, including Bauchi, Eket, Gombe and Uyo.
“Together, the newly included airports accounted for 667,877 passengers in 2016 or 4.4 per cent of the total.
“Excluding these from the comparison with 2015 reveals that between these two years, total passenger traffic increased by 1.6 percent for those airports included in both years,” NBS said.
The report noted: This contrasts with both 2015, in which the number of passengers increased slightly between the third and fourth quarters.
“The number of passengers increased by 0.9 percent in 2015 and 2014, in which there was the growth of 5.9 per cent in the number of passengers between the same two quarters.
“These totals hide differing trends in the total number of domestic and international passengers.
“The number of domestic passengers fell between the second and third quarters by 6.4 per cent, from 2,864,072 to 2,681,693.’’
“The number increased by 13.8 per cent, from 1,036,577 to 1,179,559, before falling back by 14.6 percent in the last quarter to reach 1,006,869,’’ said the report
“ In the fourth quarter, this reversed, with the drop in international passenger numbers contributing 4.5 percent points of the 5.6 percent drop in total passengers or roughly 80 percent.
“This spike in the third quarter for international travel may be part of a seasonal pattern: 2014 and 2015 also recorded spikes in the number of international travelers in the third quarter.’’
For the whole of 2016, the performance of the different parts of the Nigerian aviation sector varied, the report further stated, noting that there were large increases in the volume of both cargo and mail, especially in the final quarter.