Hundreds of passengers were on yesterday stranded at the two domestic Lagos airports over hike in fares by airline operators, as the operators allegedly capitalised on the Christmas rush to increase their fares.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the air ticket for an hour flight currently ranged from N30, 000 to N43, 000, depending on the carrier. This was against N18, 000 to N30, 000 a few days ago.
Officials of some of the airlines said the rush for tickets was more pronounced on Lagos, Enugu, Abuja, Owerri, Calabar and Port Harcourt routes.
The carriers currently operating commercial services in the country are Arik Air, Aero Contractors, IRS Airlines, Med-View Air and Overland.
Findings at the Lagos airports as well as enquiries from airline representatives showed that the average fare on the Lagos-Enugu route, which was less than 45 minutes, was N35, 000 as against N20, 000 about two months ago.
Similarly, the Lagos-Abuja route attracted an average ticket price of N40, 000. This was against an average of N24, 000 recorded some weeks ago.
On the Lagos-Port Harcourt and Lagos-Owerri routes, it costs between N38, 000 and N45, 000.
It could be recalled that the General Manager, Corporate Communications, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Yakubu Datti, had on December 11 advised Nigerians to make use of passenger service portals.
Mr. Datti said this was to help them plan their trips ahead, in order to avoid last-minute stress.
He said the platforms empower passengers with tools to make the traveling experience seamless for them during periods when there is an upsurge in demand for air transports
Meanwhile, some ticketing officers, who pleaded anonymity said that the difference in airfares when compared to what they used to be was normal at this period.
“It is normal for airfares to rise, especially during Christmas and as the year comes to an end. It is not only our airline that has increased fares,’’ he said. (NAN)