Domestic airlines which resumed operations yesterday after a 14-week shutdown due to the onset of the COVID-19 have raised fares by almost 50 per cent.
NewsGazette gathered that a one-way ticket from Lagos to Abuja, Port Harcourt or Owerri which was between N22, 000 and N28, 000 before the lockdown now attracts between N33,000 and N41,000.
For instance, a one-way ticket from Lagos to Abuja on Arik Air is N32, 699; Dana; N35, 099 and Air Peace, N40, 299.
Meanwhile, four domestic carriers – Arik Air, Air Peace, Max Air and Ibom Air – operated the Lagos-Abuja flight.
Flight resumption was characterised by low passenger patronage with the airlines carrying between 50 and 60 per cent load factor.
Arik Air, for instance boarded 78 and 80 passengers on its first and second Lagos-Abuja flights respectively on its Boeing 737 aircraft.
Prior to the lockdown, it ferried an average of 150 or 200 passengers.
NewsGazette also observed at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) and MMA2 where the flights took off that the airlines adhered strictly to the flight distancing protocol of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).