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Abuja-Lagos flight route fourth busiest in Africa


Murtala Muhammed International Airport

An average of 50 minutes flight between the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, and Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) in Lagos, has been ranked the fourth busiest aircraft route in Africa.

The study conducted by the Routesonline, range the busiest flight path in Nigeria among the 10 top on the continent, considering passenger numbers.

Routes’ study analysed the top 100 aviation routes to /from and within Africa by total capacity in 2017, according to OAG Schedules Analyser, and then ordered them using passenger data provided by Sabre Airline Solutions. The routes included are therefore domestic, intra-Africa and international.

The most viable route connects the Federal capital in Abuja and the economic capital in Lagos, attracting 1.7 million and 1.3 million passengers, respectively. Seven of the eight operating local carriers fly the route, with an average ticket cost put at N30,000 ($98).


Top on the list is a two-hour flight between South Africa’s legislative capital Cape Town and the country’s largest city Johannesburg.

More than 4.7 million passengers flew the 1,292 km between Cape Town (CPT) and Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) in the last calendar year, putting it comfortably number one in the rankings.

Eight airlines operated services between Cape Town and O.R. Tambo International during the year, with the average cost of a ticket at N24,000 ($78). In total, there was in excess of 34,000 flights between the two destinations in 2017, equating to an average of 95 flights per day.

Second in the list is the flight between Oliver R.Tambo International and Durban’s King Shaka International Airport. A total of 2.87 million passengers flew between the two cities, which at just 498 km is the shortest flight by distance in the top ten.

The third-busiest route links Egypt’s capital city Cairo with the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah. Completing the top five is Cape Town to Lanseria International Airport, situated to the north west of Johannesburg, with 1.2 million passengers.

The research has been released ahead of Routes Africa 2018, taking place in Accra, Ghana, between July 16-18, 2018. Routes Africa is the continent’s most-established aviation forum, bringing together leading airlines, airports and tourism authorities to discuss air services to, from and within Africa.

This year’s event will hear from some of the biggest names in the industry, including Ethiopian Airlines chief executive Tewolde GebreMariam; Raphael Kuuchi, vice president for Africa at The International Air Transport Association (IATA); and Ali Tounsi, secretary general of ACI Africa.

Brand Director of Routes, Steven Small, said: “With the Single African Air Transport Market set to further liberalise and unify the African skies, it is no doubt an exciting time for the continent’s aviation industry.

“Routes Africa will bring together senior decision makers from Africa’s airlines, airports and destinations to plan new services. They will also discuss increasing the frequency and capacity of the existing routes that are popular with passengers.

“The negotiations in Accra could lead the way to the busiest African routes of the future,” Small said.

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