Ethiopian Airlines has made a bold statement and grabbed largest share of Nigeria’s air traffic in 2017.
The premium horn of Africa Airlines transported 416,229 passengers between Nigeria and Addis Ababa making it foreign carrier with the highest number of traffic in 2017, despite a decline in passenger traffic compared to 2016, data Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) shows.
Ethiopian Airlines, the only carrier that operates from five points in Nigeria: Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Kano, and Kaduna, had 202,452 inbound passengers while the outbound passengers were 213,777 in the past year, BusinessDay investigation showed.
British Airways emerged the second biggest carrier out of the country with 275,233 passengers, followed by Air France which ferried 254,290 passengers, completing the top three of airlines companies with the highest transport of passengers in 2017.
Lufthansa had 245,151 as outbound and inbound passengers while the leading Middle East carrier, Emirates airlifted 242,033 passengers within the period, closely following Emirates is another Middle East carrier, Turkish Airlines, which airlifted 219,551 passengers in and out of Nigeria in 2017.
Virgin Atlantic Airways from the United Kingdom also ferried 185,994 passengers, KLM Airlines; 185,999, Qatar Airways; 170,159, Egypt Air; 151,018, South African Airways; 140,273, Asky Airways; 119,154, African World Airlines; 112,542 Rwandair; 108,256 and Kenya Airways airlifted 93,307 passengers within the period.
The only American carrier operating direct flights between Nigeria and United States, Delta Air Lines had 93,244 passengers within the period while Royal Air Maroc airlifted 88,015 passengers.
Another Middle East airline, which made a strong statement on the Nigerian route in the past year, was Etihad Airways, which carried 84,984 passengers within the period.
The first Nigerian carrier with high passenger traffic on the international route was Med-View, which emerged the 19th airline with passenger traffic in 2017 out of 30 airlines on the international route.
Med-View transported 72,175 passengers, Arik Air had 67,270 passengers; Air Cote D’Ivoire; 59,059; Saudi Air; 56,115, Air Peace; 31,551, Middle East; 27,295, Max Air; 18,830, Sudan Air; 14,053, Meridiana Air; 13,839, Mid Air Africa; 5,050, Cronos Air; 4,858 and Azman Air airlifted 2,003 passengers within the period.
Another airline, which appeared on the list of international carriers without a single passenger within the period, was the Cameroonian Airline, Camair-Co.
In the domestic scene, Air Peace remains the airline with the highest volume of passengers among the eight local carriers with 2,604,963, which represented 34.06 percent of the total local market share in 2017.
Arik Air emerged second with highest passenger traffic with 1,430,170, Dana Air; 1,194,004, Med-View Airline; 985,483 and Azman Air with 689,233 passengers.
Others are Aero Contractors with 409,018 passengers, FirstNation Airways with 189,155 passengers while Overland Airways came last with 144,049 passengers within the year under review.
The total passenger traffic for 2017 recorded a decline of 23.4 per cent to 11,221,617 from 15,232,597 in 2016 as Africa’s largest economy narrowly exited recession in the second quarter of 2017 after five straight quarters of contraction between the first quarter of 2016 and the 2017.