DOMESTIC airlines operating in Nigeria have hiked their fares drastically ahead of the resumption of activities due on Wednesday July 8 with some of them doubling their prices to absorb the cost of new social distancing guidelines.
On March 30, the federal government closed all of her airports in response to the coronavirus pandemic and as part of the easing of the lockdown, the Lagos and Abuja airports are to open this week. Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri and Maiduguri airports would resume operations on the July 11 while all other airports across Nigeria will follow on July 15.
With the Lagos to Abuja route set to be the first to open, ticket prices for the one hour trip have already skyrocketed. With Dana Air for instance, its economy tickets are selling for N33,000 for a one way Lagos to Abuja flight, while business class tickets are going for as much as N70,500.
Rival Air Peace is selling economy tickers for N33,001 for a one way Lagos-Abuja trip while its business class ticket are going for N80,000. Another airline Azman, has been selling economy tickets sold for N33,000 while business class are selling for N60,000 for Abuja to Lagos trip.
Arik Air’s economy tickets were the lowest, going for N29,189 for economy and 71,532 for business class flights for a one-way Lagos to Abuja trip. These airlines have factored in extra costs like having to provide space between passengers and the need to absorb increased taxes the government has recently introduced.
Dana Air spokesman Kingsley, said it was imperative customers booked flights early, pointing out that the airline’s ticket prices were quite competitive. Before the lockdown, economy tickets could go for as low as N15,000 and as high as N40,000 for one-hour flight but now they have more less doubled.
Arik Air has said that it will be operating three daily flights from Lagos to Abuja in the first phase of the aviation restart. It noted that Port Harcourt will be added to the schedule from Saturday, July 11, when its airport opens for operations.