Lagos Airport Records Highest Domestic and International Passenger Traffic - NBS


June 22, 2015 / 10.01am /National Bureau of Statistics

Total Passenger Traffic

A total of 3,710,618 passengers travelled through Nigeria’s airports in the opening quarter of 2015, representing a decline of 453,144 passengers or 10.88% from the preceding quarter, bucking the upward trend observed throughout 2014.

The series peaked in Q4 of 2014, with 4,163,762 passengers travelling, up 227,744 or 5.59% from Q3 of the same year.

Year on year, the Q1 2015 value was still 294,011 passengers or 8.61% greater than that recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2014, whilst quarter four was 594,317 passengers or 16.65% greater than the number recorded in the closing quarter of 2013.

Declines in total passengers in the first quarter were driven by lower numbers of domestically travelling passengers, at 708,092 fewer passengers or 23.84% below Q4 of 2014 values, whilst international passengers increased by 254,948 passengers or 21.35%.

Similarly, the quarterly rise observed in Q4 of 2014 was also driven solely by higher domestic passenger numbers, increasing by 320,544 or 12.10% relative to the preceding quarter, whilst internationally bound travelers declined by 92,800 or 7.21%.

Of the passengers that traveled in Q1 of 2015, a total of 2,261,648 or 60.95% traveled domestically, whilst 71.32% of travel was domestic in the preceding quarter. The corresponding quarters recorded 68.84% and 65.90% domestic travel in Q1 of 2015 and Q4 of 2014 respectively.

Domestic Passenger Traffic by Airport
In the fourth quarter of 2014, the airport with the greatest frequency of domestic passenger traffic was Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, with 1,088,141 passengers, or 36.64% of the total. This was the peak of the airport’s series, having increased by 74,225 passengers or 7.32% from the preceding quarter.

The opening quarter of 2015 however, saw a sharp decline in MMA’s domestic passenger traffic, with 191,617 or 17.61% fewer passengers than the preceding quarter.

Nonetheless, this decline was lower, relative to the other airports, as MMA held a 3.00% point greater share of the total this quarter, at 39.64%. Year on year, Q1 of 2015, recorded a marginally lower volume of domestic passenger traffic, with 2,372 or 0.26% fewer passengers.

Abuja had the second highest number of passengers travelling domestically. Similarly to Lagos, the series peaked in Q4 of 2014, at 940,872 passengers, representing 31.68% of the total.

Quarter on quarter, this was a rise of 153,250 - 200,000 400,000 600,000 800,000 1,000,000 1,200,000 Abuja Kano MMA Lagos Owerri Port Harcourt 2014 Q1 2014 Q2 2014 Q3 2014 Q4 2015 Q1 passengers or 19.46% from Q3.

However, Q1 of 2015 saw an almost equal decline, of 176,503 passengers or 18.76%. Yet this was still a rise year on year, of 63,120 passengers or 9.00% relative to the 701,249 passengers that travelled in Q1 of 2014. Abuja’s share of total domestic passenger traffic increased to 33.80% in the opening quarter.

Port Harcourt continued to hold the third highest volume of passenger traffic, with 329,499 passengers in Q4 of 2014, declining by 64,406 passengers or 19.55% in Q1 of 2015 to 265,093 passengers.

Its share of the total however, increased only marginally, from 11.10% in Q4 of 2014 to 11.72% in Q1 of 2015. Relative to the corresponding quarter of 2014, the opening quarter of 2015 still recorded passenger traffic lower by 9,093 persons or 3.32%.

The only positive quarter on quarter passenger growth came from Makurdi airport in Q1 of 2015, with 87 or 16.29% more passengers than in Q4 of 2014. Year on year, Abuja, Ilorin and Kano saw positive growth in 2015’s opening quarter; Kano represented the greatest increase of 19.38%, representing 9,377 more passengers.

For the closing quarter of 2014, highest quarterly growth was recorded in Makurdi again, with a 111.07% rise of 281 passengers from Q3 of 2014.

International Passenger Traffic 

The highest numbers of international passengers for both Q3 of 2014 and Q1 of 2015 were recorded in Lagos’ MMA airport. With 852,049 passengers or 71.36% of the total in Q4, passenger numbers declined by 153,320 or 17.99% in Q1, to 698,729 or 48.22% of the total. Year on year, MMA airport recorded declines in passenger numbers in both Q4 of 2014 and Q1 of 2015, of 29,733 or 3.37% and 85,750 or 10.93% in each quarter respectively.

Abuja recorded some of the largest increases in international passenger numbers; from the 226,649 passengers travelling in Q4 of 2014, there was an influx of 456,809 additional passengers the following quarter, increasing the total by 201.55% in Q1, 2015 to 683,458 passengers.

Its share of the total went from 18.98% in Q4 2014 to 47.17% in Q1, 2015. This cannot be explained by a usual seasonal fluctuation; year on year, the Q1 value was still 476,718 passengers or 230.59% greater, whilst the Q4, 2014 value was marginally lower, by 7,656 passengers or 3.27%.

Kano airport had the third highest number of international passengers, with 42,321 passengers in Q1 of 2014 and 33,578 in Q4 of 2014, representing 2.92% and 2.81% of the total respectively. However, Q4 of 2014 showed a sharp decline relative to the preceding quarter, of 25,351 passengers or 43.02%, after the steady growth in numbers observed throughout 2014.

The opening quarter of 2015 saw some recovery, with an increase of 8,743 passengers or 26.04%, although the 42,321 passengers travelling internationally was still lower than the Q3 2014 peak of 58,929. Year on year, Q4 2014 and 2015 saw rises, of 3,470 passengers or 11.53% and 5,060 passengers or 13.58% respectively.

Total Aircraft Movement 
In keeping with the lower volumes of passenger travel observed in the opening quarter of 2015, total aircraft movement also declined. From a series peak of 71,414 aircraft in Q4 of 2014, there was a quarterly drop of 12,181 aircraft or 17.06% in the opening quarter of 2015.

Nonetheless, a quarterly decline was also observed in the opening quarter of 2014, and year on year, this was actually an increase of 6,049 aircraft or 11.37%.


The portion of domestic and international aircraft traffic has remained relatively constant, with domestic aircraft holding 82.78% of the total in Q4 of 2014 and 82.43% in the opening quarter of 2015.

In the corresponding quarters of the previous year, the ratios were 79.05% and 79.55% in quarters four and one respectively, showing a marginal increase in the number of domestic aircraft traveling, relative those internationally bound.


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