Passengers at the airport
By Chinedu Eze
As the year 2012 ends today, the heavy movement of people from Nigeria’s largest commercial city to hinterlands to celebrate the Christmas and the New Year seemed to have thinned down as the domestic wing of the Murtala Muahmmed International Airport, Lagos witnessed low turnout of passengers Sunday .
Although, at the international terminal there were more passengers with prior flight schedules leaving the country, while inbound flights still disgorge high number of passengers, who were returning home for holiday and for business.
But at the domestic terminals, the rush that was witnessed in the days before Christmas has disappeared as the Murtala Muhammed Terminal two (MMA2) and the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) looked like a deserted market with few passengers making the last trips for the year.
Most of the passengers who were seen at the terminals were either patronising Arik Airlines at the GAT terminal or Aero Contractors airlines at the MMA2 terminal.
Other airlines like IRS, Overland Airways, MedView airlines had little or no queues at their various airlines’ check in counters as at the time of filing this report.
Many ground staff and other airline officials seemed to be having a free day as fewer workers attended to the passengers at the airlines counters.
Spokesman for Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, Mr. Steve Omolale Ajulo, said the reduction of passengers’ traffic was because the Christmas season has passed, noting that most of the passengers had travelled for the Yuletide celebration with their families and loved ones.
He also observed that since there were not enough holidays to accompany the New Year celebration, most Nigerians felt it was not necessary to travel within the period.
“I think the Christmas rush has passed, so we only have the New Year and there is no much holidays. In fact there will be work tomorrow, it is only one day holiday, so why the rush to travel. So I think that is just the reason for the low passengers’ traffic that we are witnessing now,” he said.
One of the passengers at MMA2, Michael Onoja who was travelling on Aero Contractors airlines to Benin at 11:15am acknowledged that that passenger traffic was low so there would be low load factor for the airlines.
He commended the airlines for operating yesterday in spite of the fact that they would not have many passengers.