By James Emejo in Abuja
Total aviation passenger traffic declined by 0.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
It noted that Q4 witnessed “both a quarterly and a year on year decline, of 0.4per cent and 8.5 per cent respectively, with a total of 3,810,758 passengers, compared to 4,163,762 passengers in the fourth quarter of 2014.”
As a result, the first quarter of 2015 was the only quarter not to see a year on year decline, it added.
According to the Nigerian Aviation Sector report for Q3/Q4 2015 which was posted on its website yesterday, the total number hides differing trends in domestic and international travel.
It stated that “After falling between 2014 Q4 and 2015 Q1, the total number of domestic passengers increased every quarter in 2015, to reach 2,723,769 in the fourth quarter; 121,316 (4.7per cent) higher than in the third quarter, but still 245,971 (8.3per cent) lower than in the fourth quarter of 2014.”
The NBS said the total number of international passengers recorded a quarterly fall of 11.0 per cent in Q4, from 1,221,866 to 1,086,989, slightly outweighing the increase in domestic passengers.”
“In the third quarter of 2015 the number of international passengers had increased by 16.0 per cent relative to the second quarter, but was still less than the number in the same quarter of 2014 of 1,296,822,” it added.
At the domestic front, it noted that the “Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) in Lagos remained the busiest domestic airport in the second half of 2015, with 961,689 passengers travelling through in the third quarter, and 983,903 travelling through in the fourth. This represented 37.0%and 36.1per cent of passenger traffic respectively.
“However, in both quarters this represents a decline in the share relative to 2014, when MMA domestic accounted for 38.3per cent and 36.6 per cent in the third and fourth quarters.
Contrastingly, Abuja Domestic airport, which is the second largest in terms of passenger traffic, increased its share of passenger travel relative to 2014, although the share declined between the third and fourth quarter of 2015. In the third quarter of 2015, 903,972 passengers travelled through Abuja Domestic Airport, and 920,415 travelled through in the fourth.”
Also for the International Passenger Traffic, Murtala Muhammed Airport continued to account for the largest share of international passengers, according to the NBS.
“Whereas with domestic air travel, MMA’s share of passengers was only slightly higher than for Abuja Airport, in the case of international travel MMA dominated in the second half of 2015, accounting for 67.4per cent of international passengers in the third quarter, and 71.1per cent in the fourth.
“This is perhaps unsurprising given Lagos’s status as the business centre of Nigeria, and the location of the vast majority of foreign investment. Nevertheless these shares were slightly less than in 2014, when in the third and fourth quarter MMA’s share of total international passengers was 69.6per cent and 71.4% respectively. In total, 823,951 international passengers travelled through MMA in the third quarter of 2015 and 772,734 in the fourth, a quarterly decline of 51,217, or 6.2per cent. This followed an increase of 13.2per cent in the third quarter.
Continuing, it said:”Abuja International Airport was the second busiest international airport in the second half of 2015, as in previous quarters. In the third quarter 282,028 international passengers travelled through the airport, and 223,211 travelled through in the fourth.
“This represented a quarterly decline of 20.9 per cent, considerably higher than the fall for the total number of international passengers, meaning that Abuja’s share fell from 23.1per cent to 20.5 per cent between these quarters. However these shares are still above those in the third and fourth quarters of 2014, of 19.8 per cent and 19.0 per cent respectively.”