By James Emejo in Abuja
The Nigerian aviation sector recorded a decline in activity between the first and second (Q1, Q2) quarters of the year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has stated.
It said in Q1, total aviation passenger traffic or number of passengers who traveled through Nigerian airports was 3,549,360, representing a decline of 261,398 passengers or 6.9 percent relative to fourth quarter (Q4) 2015, but higher than the 3,411,683 passengers recorded in Q1 2015.
According to the statistical agency, Q2, however, recorded a quarterly decrease of 0.5 percent in passenger traffic and a year-on-year increase of 0.2 percent, resulting in a total of 3,532,775 passengers.
According to the Nigerian Aviation Sector Summary Report: Q1-Q2 2016 released over the weekend by the NBS, the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) in Lagos recorded the most activity in the sector, accounting for 36.6 percent and 70.3 percent of domestic and international passengers respectively while cargo and mail movement accounted for 91.8 percent and 58.8 percent respectively.
It noted that in both quarters of the year, domestic travel recorded smaller growth rates than international travel, compared to the previous quarters as well as corresponding quarters of the previous year.
It further stated that there were 2,475,448 domestic passengers in Q1 and 2,411,251 in Q2, representing quarterly declines of 9.1 percent and 2.6 percent respectively.
Year on year, this represented an increase of 2.1 percent and decline 2.4 percent in Q1 and Q2 respectively.
By comparison, international passenger numbers declined by only 1.2 percent in Q1 to reach 1,073,912 passengers before increasing by 4.4 percent in Q2 to reach 1,121,524 passengers, the NBS further stated.
“Year on year, international passenger numbers grew in both quarters; by 8.9% in the first, and 6.4% in the second,” it added.
According to the report, at the domestic front, MMA remained the busiest airport in Q1 with 886,869 passengers travelling through and 903,605 passengers in Q2. This represented 35.8 per cent and 37.5 per cent of total domestic passenger traffic for the respective periods-and represented a slight decline in the share relative to 2015, when MMA domestic accounted for 37 percent and 37.9 percent in both quarters.
On the other hand, the Abuja Domestic airport, which is the second largest in terms of passenger traffic, increased its share of passenger travel relative to Q1 2015, although the share declined slightly relative to Q2 2015.
In Q1 2016, 821,101 passengers travelled through Abuja Domestic Airport, while 857,915 passengers travelled through Q2.
Also on the international front, MMA accounted for the largest share of international passengers, accounting for 72.1 percent and 68.6 percent of total traffic in Q1 and Q2 2016.
Abuja International Airport was the second busiest with 220,592 passengers in Q1 and 268,638 passengers in Q2, representing a share of 20.5 percent and 24 percent respectively.