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HIKE IN AIRFARE: Lagos to Abuja now N43,000

+ IRS, CHANCHANGI AIRLINES STILL SUSPENDED

Incredibly, the crises rocking the aviation industry over the grounding of IRS, Chanchangi and Dana airlines by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has really shot air fares higher than ever.

ENCOMIUM Weekly’s checks on Saturday, November 16, 2013, revealed that the suspension is having adverse effect on passenges as the few operating airlines are feasting on them.

ENCOMIUM Weekly gathered that the situation has resulted in a marginal increase in airfares to various destinations within the country.

For instance, Arik Air ticket from Lagos to Abuja which rose from N28,000 to N38,000 since the issue began three weeks ago, is currently sold between N39,000 and N43,000, while Aero-Contractor’s Lagos to Abuja flight, which has skyrocketed from N22,000 to N28,000 during the suspension is now between N33,000 and N35,000.

Some of the agents who spoke to us revealed that the fare is now for the highest bidder. And scores of passengers who are desperate to meet up with deadlines across the country were willing to pay any amount to book a flight for the limited seats available. He told us that the peak period was in the evening.

Furthermore, checks revealed that the crisis has brought untold hardship to the numerous passengers scrambling for the few seats available aboard the domestic routes. The privileged ones outplayed other passengers in picking seats by paying more. Interestingly, ARIK is the most beneficial in the brouhaha plaguing the industry.

Meanwhile, the grounding of IRS and Chanchangi airlines by NCAA has galloped into the fourth week.

Three weeks after being grounded by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), IRS and Chanchangi airlines are still recording losses. ENCOMIUM Weekly’s checks on Saturday, November 16, 2013, revealed that the airlines have lost over N300 million.  Aside that, we scoped that the management of the airlines are not too happy with the unfair treatment meted to them by the agency whom they hold responsible for their woes. This is not unconnected with the fact that some of their staffers, especially 10 pilots have decided to pitch their tents with the few viable airlines on ground.

On Saturday, November 16, 2013, we contacted the media manager of Chanchangi, who admitted they have not resumed operations, but hopefully would resolve the crisis soon. “We are resuming very soon. We are just waiting for them. Their is no problem at all.”

 FEMI OYEWALE

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