Q/q rebound in air passenger traffic

Drawing on data provided by the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has released its latest report on air passenger traffic. The report estimates total traffic in Q2 2017 at 3.0 million passengers, representing an increase of 21% q/q and a decline of -19% y/y. For most households, spending patterns have been adjusted to reflect the current economic realities. Although some signs of economic growth have emerged, purchasing power and consumer confidence remain subdued.

The narrative is not completely gloomy. The pickup recorded when compared with the previous quarter amounts to increased air ticket demand. According to the report from the NBS, 71% of total air passengers in Q2 were domestic travellers.

Domestic air traffic increased by 27% q/q in Q2 to 2.1 million passengers. Given that Lagos is the commercial hub of the country, there are no surprises that the MMA Lagos domestic airport accounted for the largest share (41%) of domestic passengers during the quarter under review.

The Abuja domestic airport accounted for 28% of the total, and Port Harcourt 6.9%.

As for international travel, air passenger traffic grew by 9% q/q but declined by -14% y/y.

There were averages of 60 passengers on each domestic flight in Q2 and 83 passengers per international flight.

We understand that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revised the fx rate on ticket sales geared towards flights departing from Nigeria. The rate was revised last month to N326/US$1 from the previous N305, the CBN’s official rate. This has resulted in a 7% surge in ticket fares on most international airlines.

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