Latest figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) have indicated that no fewer than 7,503,408 air travellers went through Nigeria’s airports in the first half of 2018.
The NBS said this in “Air Transportation Data Q1 & Q2 2018’’ report made available to Brand Spur Nigeria.
The bureau said the first two quarters of 2018 saw mixed performance in the various items that make up airport transportation in Nigeria. The total number of passengers who passed through Nigerian airports reached 3,845,853 in the first quarter of 2018 – a 33.51% year-on-year growth from the same quarter of 2017; and 3,657,555 in the second quarter of 2018 – a smaller year-on-year growth of 15.24% from the same quarter in 2017.
Consequently, there was a 4.9% decline in passengers for Q2 2018 when compared to the preceding quarter. Total aircraft traffic declined year-on-year for both Q1 (1.48%) & Q2 (10.17%) when compared to the corresponding quarter in 2017. In the first half of 2018, aircraft traffic totalled 96,659, a 5.9% decline from total aircraft recorded in the same period last year.
A significant year-on-year decline in air cargo traffic via Lagos for both Q1 2018 (49.8%) and Q2 2018 (65.4%), led to an overall year on year decline of 37.8% for the first half of the year.
However, a growth of 25.6% was recorded between Q2 2018 (28,920,555 aircraft) and the preceding quarter.
Similarly, there was a 34.2% increase in total mail traffic recorded in the first half of 2018 when compared to the same period last year.
In total, 7,503,408 passengers passed through Nigerian airports in the first half of 2018, this is a 23.9% growth from the 6,054,319 passengers recorded in the first half of 2017. This significant growth in both the first and second quarters of 2018 was mainly driven by the increased passenger traffic through Abuja airports, compared with the same period in 2017 when the Abuja airport was closed during the period for runway improvements. There was also a boost in passenger traffic in March 2018 when total air passenger was recorded at 1,721,224 (797,608 arrivals and 923,616 departures), a 62% jump from the average passenger traffic from the previous two months (January & February 2018).
The total number of air passengers declined in the second quarter of 2018 from the first quarter by 4.90%, standing at 3,657,555. Nevertheless, the recorded total passenger in Q2 indicates a robust year-on-year growth (of 15.24%) from the same quarter in the last year.
In the first quarter of 2018, 2,779,455 passengers travelled through domestic airports (72.3% of total travel), and 1,066,398 through the international airports (27.7% of total travel), representing a growth of 4.99% and 5.30% respectively compared to the previous quarter (Q4 2017). Similarly, in the second quarter of 2018, 2,653,690 passengers travelled through domestic airports (72.6% of total travel), and 1,003,865 through the international airports (27.4% of total travel), representing a decline of 4.52% and 5.86% respectively, compared to Q1 2018. This underpins the slower growth in passenger traffic in the first half of the year when compared with the second half of the previous year, but the robust growth in domestic passenger travel (27.4%) and international passenger travel (15.7%) when compared with the same period last year.
The first quarter of 2018 saw departures, recorded at 1,969,883, grow by 9.74% from departures recorded in Q4 2017 at 1,795,095, and by 34.98% compared to the same quarter in 2017. This figure dropped to 1,837,002 in Q2 2018, a 6.75% decline from the previous quarter (Q1 2018), but a robust growth of 14.76% from the same quarter last year (Q2 2017).
The number of passengers at arrival has remained relatively stable since 2017 Q3. The first two quarters of 2018 recorded 1,875,970 and 1,820,553 air passengers arriving at Nigerian airports respectively. Although the number of passengers at arrival declined in Q2 2018 from Q1 2018 by 2.95%, both the reviewing quarters saw significant year-on-year growth from the corresponding quarters in 2017 (32.01% and 15.73% respectively).
The top five airports in Nigeria in terms of the number of passengers who passed through in the first half of 2018 were Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, and Owerri. These five airports served over 89.39% of total passengers (6,707,195 in number) in the first two quarters of 2018.
Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport remained the busiest airport in Nigeria for both international and domestic travellers, and it served 3,527,851 passengers (or 48.71% of total air passengers) in the first half of the year (1,972,997 in Q1 and 1,564,854 in Q2). Among the over 3.5 million air passengers who passed through Lagos airport in the first half of 2018, 41.8% or 1,478,738 were international passengers, and 58.2% or 2,059,113 were domestic passengers. In the first quarter of 2018, domestic air passengers who passed through Lagos airport (1,174,943) reached the highest point since the beginning of 2017, and this number declined to 884,170 in the second quarter a decline of 24.75%, although this figure still represented a 2.89% growth from the same period in 2017 (Q2).
Abuja Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, the second largest airport in Nigeria, served 2,140,452 (29.5% of total air passengers) in the first half of 2018 (1,021,906 in Q1 2018, and 1,118,546 in Q2 2018). During this period (HY 2018), 80% of the passengers who travelled through the Abuja airport were domestic
passengers, while 20% were travelling internationally.
Port Harcourt, Kano, and Owerri airports which recorded 520,930 (7.2%), 261,355 (3.6%), and 246,607 (3.4%) in the first two-quarters of 2018 round up the top airports for passenger traffic during the first half of 2018.