Air Fares Sky-rocket as Stranded Abuja Passengers Bemoan Experience

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Dele Ogbodo in Abuja

The upsurge in passenger traffic, necessitated by the festive season yesterday led to more than 70 per cent increase in air tickets at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, by the few airline operators flying to different parts of the country.

THISDAY checks at the airport, revealed that tickets which sold for N25,000 and N32,0000 before the festive period for economy class for two local operators, MedView and Air Peace, went as high as between N50,000 and N70,000.

THISDAY, however learnt, that many of the local operators are finding it difficult contending to source for Jet A1 (Aviation fuel), while not a few passengers were left stranded at the airport as at the time of filing this report.

A senior staff member of one of the airlines, who spoke on anonymity, said only lucky passengers were able to fly as at 2am on Saturday with MedView due to non-availability of fuel, which has rendered the situation chaotic, adding that the passengers were initially scheduled for 7pm flight on Friday.
Passengers in a chat expressed regret at the sad situation, which they say has marred their planned holidays outside of Abuja.

Reacting to the development on telephone, FAAN’s Station Manager, Mrs. Hope Ivbaze, acknowledge that it is not unusual that festive periods in the country are characterised by high passenger traffic because of the air experience advantage.

In preparedness for this challenge, that we saw coming, FAAN made sure that about 100 chillers were installed to keep the Air Conditioners (A/C) running, stressing that the terminal which are near completion, will make things easy for passengers in the months to come.
On security, she said the presence of security and paramilitary men, coupled with FAAN security has made the place safe.
Ivbaze, said: “FAAN has improved on its toilet facilities, while blocked pipes have been opened up. The escalators and lifts were fully serviced and replaced because of the envisaged traffic.”