Home Business Airfare slash: Aviation expert warns NCAA to be wary

Airfare slash: Aviation expert warns NCAA to be wary


LAGOS – The Sabre Travel Network (STN), an aviation service provider on Thursday warned the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), to be wary of recent reduction in airfares by some domestic airlines.

The President of STN, West Africa, Mr Gbenga Olowo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that passengers were more interested in their safety rather than airfare slashes.

NAN reports that airfares in the sector had dropped in the last few months by 60 per cent in the local scene as a result of new entrants into the sub-sector.

An hour flight between Lagos and Abuja now goes as low as N10,656 and N18,000, depending on the time of booking and the airline a passenger is purchasing the ticket from.

Earlier in the previous week, Dana Air announced a starting price of N9,000 on all its routes, while other airlines like Med-View, Aero and FirstNation have followed suit.

Olowo said that he was surprised at the sudden crash of airfares ranging from N7,000 to N15,000 an hour.

He attributed the airfare slashes to the emergence of new airlines in the sub-sector, saying that it was a bad strategy adopted by the airlines to penetrate the market.

Olowo recalled that as at 1994, an hour flight was around 100 dollars (about N17, 000).

He wondered why airfares should be cheaper 20 years later in spite of the inflation that had crept into the system over the years.

“I read with shock that a one hour tariff will be selling for between N7,000 and N15,000 due to the emergence of new airlines and competition in the market.

“Beyond the misconception of being capitalist, this should worry Nigerians and the regulator.

“With authority, I submit that this is not a sensible market penetration strategy, but a confirmation of cash flow problem and survival need.

“A one hour flight in 1994 was 100 dollars, how could it come cheaper 20 years after given all environmental and market considerations?” Olowo said.

He charged the airlines to explore professional recommendations in line with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in respect of the airfares. (NAN)

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