The number of air passengers processed by the airport managers at the Murtala Mohammad Airport Ikeja dropped from 3.5 million in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019, which was before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, to 1.06 million in Q1 2021. This is a drop of 2.5 million passengers, which represents a decrease of 70%.
This was disclosed by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on Thursday.
The airport manager revealed that between January and March 2021, a total number of 739,560 passengers was recorded for domestic flights and 323,751 for international flights.
Highlights of Q1 2021 figures
- A total of 149,557 passengers arrived, while 174,194 passengers departed through the international wing of the airport during the period, bringing the total passenger traffic to 323,751.
- At the domestic wing, 402,519 passengers arrived the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal 1, also known as the GAT.
- Departure recorded 337,041, bringing the total number of passengers on the domestic routes to 739,560 between January and March.
- A total of number 17, 286 aircraft was recorded at the airport during the first quarter of the year with records showing 12,744 domestic aircraft movements, while international aircraft movement was 4,542.
What FAAN is saying
But Airport Manager, South West, Victoria Shin-Aba, stated that there was no significant drop as Lagos remained the business nerve centre of the country since most flights terminate at the airport.
She said, “It is like a gradual reawakening, a gradual restart away from the Covid issue; there came the second wave but that did not discourage people from travelling. So it is growing gradually.
If there is one thing the airport has been able to do, as soon as you get into the airport environment this Covid protocol is activated. You can get to town everywhere, you don’t see people obeying it, but as soon as you get to the airport, we enforce it. People would not want to cooperate, but we are enforcing it… for staff and passengers, people are cooperating.
The disadvantage of covid that is what affects us the most. It has affected our income as an organization, airlines are not coming back due to the pandemic, people are not travelling as they used to.”
What you should know
At the end of Q1 2019, Nairametrics reported that the monthly breakdown showed that 1.42 million passengers comprising 789,883 arrivals and 633,069 departures in 18,653 aircraft movements were recorded in the month of January.
However, the traffic dropped in February, as 976,112 passengers comprising 462,447 arrivals and 513,665 departures were recorded. Note that the drop in air passengers traffic in February may be due to the 2019 general elections. In March 2019, the statistics rose as a total number of 1.11 million passengers, comprising 556,297 arrivals and 554,220 departures, was recorded.