2018 was a swell year for foreign airline operators in Nigeria. as ticket sales rose by 21% to $1.7 billion in 2018, a 21 per cent increase compared to the $1.4 billion recorded in the comparative period of 2017. The figures however exclude revenues earned from cargo operations.
This means, within the periods under review, 2017 and 2018, Foreign airline operators earned $3.1 billion in ticket sales in Nigeria.
Reacting to the report, President of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Bankole Bernard is of the opinion the increase could be much higher. A formal report by International Air Transport Association (IATA) is expected by the end of January.
We are still waiting, you know the trading is done on IATA platform and it is at the end of the year that they would collate everything, because they have changed their system a little bit. So, we believe that by the end of January we should have the exact figure of trading for 2018. But I can only have an estimate which is over $1.4 billion
Despite the cost of foreign airline ticket, traffic continues to increase. Speaking on the cost of ticket price, Bernard absolve foreign airline operators of blame, stating it’s just business.
They are not exploiting us; they are into business… If you speak with any of them they will tell you it is as a result of demand and supply. For instance, if an airline comes into Nigeria and there is no aviation fuel, the airline is going to fly to Ghana and quickly go and refuel
H1 and H2 2018 breakdown
Tickets valued at $800 million were sold in the first half of 2018. Ticket sales rose slightly in the second half to $900 million.
Likely factor behind the increase
The increase in revenue, may be due to higher passenger volumes. A report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed foreign passenger traffic increased year on year in the first half of 2018.