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The contribution of the Aviation industry to Nigeria’s economy (in nominal value) increased by 0.14% in 2019, as it rose to N198.62 billion. This was disclosed by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). But there are concerns that the feat would not be repeated or surpassed in 2020, as the industry is expected to suffer a decline.

Prior to 2019, the Aviation Industry contributed N149.35 billion to the country’s gross domestic product in 2018, representing 0.12%, but in 2019, the figure increased due to political activities in Nigeria. Nigeria held its elections last year.

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Between 2018 and 2019, domestic airlines were busy due to political campaigns, which were rampant across the country. Also, according to the Managing Partner, Aglow Aviation Support Services, Tayo Ojuri, government stability after the election and increased Foreign Direct Investment as well as stable foreign exchange impacted positively on the performance of the Aviation industry.

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While revealing routes that were growth drivers, Ojuri explained that “We had stable elections in 2019 and a seamless handover, and then from the economic perspective, there was a drive towards capital expenditure in November and December, which ensured there was much traffic between the triangular routes of Lagos-Abuja-Port Harcourt.

“The other thing that drove that growth was secondary airport traffic in Benin, Asaba, Owerri, Akure and Kaduna airports, among others. They are traffic that is not driven by government patronage but by business and family visits.”

Growth to drop this year: The year started rough for the Aviation Industry globally with the spread of Coronavirus. This has led the likes of the United States, Israel, India, Italy, Uganda and Ghana to place travel ban or restrict foreign flights into their countries.

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Due to the travel ban and restrictions, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) had projected that in 2020, global revenue losses for the passenger business would be between $63 billion and $113 billion. The initial figure was placed at $29.3 billion. Also, airline share prices have fallen nearly by 25% since the outbreak began.

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Already, Nairametrics had reported that travel agencies experienced 50% drop in ticket sales and reservations on international routes. So the Aviation Industry in Nigeria will have to depend on domestic flights to curtail the decline that will be caused by Coronavirus spread.

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