New Year: Abuja Airport records low patronage

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Abuja – The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Thursday recorded low movement of passengers as the world prepares to celebrate the New Year on Friday, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
NAN observed that both the departure and the arrival sections of both domestic and international wings of the airport were deserted unlike Dec. 24, when there was heavy traffic.
Mr Tony Ameh, Manager, Aero Contractors, told NAN that the rush associated with festive period was minimal, adding that the airline had recorded less number of passengers as against the previous years.
Ameh disclosed that the airline had more passengers during the Christmas period, adding that the airline had only five flights today compared to the 11 flights it operated during Christmas.
He added that there was no fare hike during the season, explaining that the difference in ticket price was as a result of online booking and on the counter booking.
According to him, aside the fact that the economy is not too good at the moment, a lot of people that travelled to different parts of the country for Christmas are yet to return.
“We have lesser number of passengers this year compared to last year’s and the previous years, and I believe it is due to the present economic situation in the country.
“During the Christmas period we have more passengers than today because we have only five flights out of Abuja today while during Christmas we operated 11 flights.
“Like today, there is no fare hike unlike during Christmas when there was high demand for seats because if you are buying ticket over the counter you tend to pay more.
“But when you buy your ticket online with some days’ interval, you enjoy cheaper fare but as you are approaching the flight, the fare goes up,’’ he said.
However, Ameh expressed optimism for a better and violence free Nigeria devoid of terrorism as much as better economic improvement in 2016.
“I wish our esteem customers safe flights in 2016 as they continue to fly with us and I want to remind them that air is the most secured mode of transportation.
“We promise our customers better services, affordable fares, on-time departure and improved service delivery as we pray that God continues to guide us to maintain good safety records,’’ he said.
A traveller, Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf, told NAN that he expected that government would do better things to the country in 2016, especially in the area of air transportation.
Yusuf said the nation’s aviation sector had a long way to go in the area of service delivery by the airlines, adding that infringement on the right of passengers was rampant among airlines.
“We have been experiencing problem with the airlines because they disappoint people without apology,’’ said Yusuf.
He however called on the government to improve on its enforcement functions to ensure that air travellers enjoyed the services they paid for.

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“After you book a flight, they keep you waiting for two to three hours and in the end cancel flights, and the only thing they can do is refund your money without apology which is wrong.
“At least the regulatory agencies should come out with something to protect the right of travellers.
“The government needs to move to encourage the airlines to improve on their service delivery by implementing those laws that protect the right of passengers,’’ he said. (NAN)

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