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‘Aviation sector suffered 13.3% decline in Q4 2016’

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Murtala Muhammed International Airport

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said that measured output from the nation’s aviation industry showed that the sector suffered the largest year on year fall in the final quarter of 2016, declining by 13.3 per cent.

According to the Q4 Full Year 2016 Air Transportation Data made available to The Guardian yesterday by the bureau, output of the aviation transport sector in real terms declined by 4.9 per cent between 2015 and 2016.

However, the report indicated that despite the slow output in number of aircraft landing or taking off from various airports within the period due to operational difficulty, the number of passengers using air transportation surprisingly increased within the period.

The bureau also observed that in 2016, the performance of the different parts of the Nigerian aviation sector varied, especially given that there were large increases in the volume of both cargo and mail transportation in the final quarter.

“Most airports recorded a decline in the number of aircraft to land and depart. Output in the air transport sector, as well as its contribution to GDP, declined in 2016.

“During the year, several airlines had operational issues, and either cut back on services provided, or stopped operations entirely. In real terms, output in this sector declined by 4.9 per cent between 2015 and 2016, with the largest year on year fall recorded in the final quarter of 13.3 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 a reflection of increased cost of operations, rather than decreased demand,” the bureau said.

Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) in Lagos was the airport to record the most activity, and accounted for 34.2 per cent of domestic passengers, 69.1 per cent of international passengers, 91.7 per cent of cargo movement and 76.9 per cent of mail movement.

The report further showed that in 2016, the total number of passengers to pass through Nigerian airports was 15,232,597. Of these, 72.0 per cent were domestic passengers travelling within Nigeria, and the remaining 28.0 per cent were international passengers entering or leaving Nigeria. Between 2015 and 2016, the number of passengers recorded by the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has increased by 6.3 per cent.

The data further noted that both in the third and final quarters of 2016, there was a quarterly decline in the number of passengers travelling through Nigerian airports. However, in the final quarter the fall was more pronounced; the number fell by 5.6per cent. This contrasts with both 2015, in which the number of passengers increased slightly between the third and fourth quarters (by 0.9 per cent) and 2014, in which there was growth of 5.9 per cent in the number of passengers between the same two quarters.


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