Total Passenger Traffic Declined by 6.9% in Q1'16 and 0.5% in Q2'16


Monday, October 31, 2016/8.56am /NBS

Nigerian Aviation recorded a decline in activity between the first half of 2016 and the second half of 2015, both in terms of the numbers of travelers and aircrafts and the weight of cargo and mail moved. Relative to the first half of 2015; both the total number of passengers and the number of aircrafts declined.

In addition, although cargo remained relatively stable over this period, mail movement recorded a large decline. Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) in Lagos was the airport to record the most activity, accounted for 36.6% of domestic passengers, 70.3% of international passengers, 91.8% of cargo movement and 58.8% of mail movement.

Total Passenger Traffic
In the first quarter of 2016, the total number of passengers to travel through Nigerian airports was 3,549,360, which represents a decline of 261,398 (6.9%) relative to the final quarter of 2015, although it is still higher than the number in the first quarter of 2015 of 3,411,683. The second quarter saw very little movement in passenger numbers, recording a quarterly decrease of 0.5 and a year on year increase of 0.2%, resulting in a total of 3,532,775 passengers.

This total number hides differing trends in domestic and international travel. In both the first and second quarters of 2016, domestic travel recorded smaller growth rates than international travel, both compared to the previous quarter, and compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

There were 2,475,448 domestic passengers in the first quarter of 2016, and 2,411,251 in the second, representing quarterly declines of 9.1% and 2.6% respectively. Year on year, this represents an increase of 2.1% in the first quarter and a decline of 2.4% in the second.

By comparison, international passenger numbers declined by only 1.2% in the first quarter to reach 1,073,912, before increasing by 4.4% in the second to reach 1,121,524. Year on year, international passenger numbers grew in both quarters; by 8.9% in the first, and 6.4% in the second.

Domestic Passenger Traffic
Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) in Lagos remained the busiest domestic airport in the first half of 2016, with 886,869 passengers travelling through in the first quarter, and 903,605 travelling through in the second. This represented 35.8% and 37.5% of passenger traffic respectively. However, in both quarters this represents a slight decline in the share relative to 2015, when MMA domestic accounted for 37.0% and 37.9% in the first and second quarters.

Contrastingly, Abuja Domestic airport, which is the second largest in terms of passenger traffic, increased its share of passenger travel relative to the first half of 2015, although the share declined slightly relative to the second half. In the first quarter of 2016, 821,101 passengers travelled through Abuja Domestic Airport, and 857,915 travelled through in the second.

This represents 33.2% and 35.6% of domestic passengers respectively, compared to 31.5% and 31.9% in the first and second quarters of 2015.

In absolute terms, Abuja Domestic Airport recorded the largest year on year increases in passenger numbers in the first and second quarters of 2016, of 56,732 and 70,848 passengers respectively. The largest decreases in absolute terms were recorded by Kaduna Domestic airport in the first quarter, of 19,850 passengers, and by Enugu airport in the second quarter, which recorded a decline of 49,288.

International Passenger Traffic
As with domestic travel, MMA in Lagos continued to account for the largest share of international passengers. Whereas with domestic air travel, MMA’s share of passengers was only slightly higher than for Abuja Airport, in the case of international travel MMA dominated in the first half of 2016, as in previous periods, accounting for 72.1% of international passengers in the first, and 68.6% in the second.

This is perhaps unsurprising given Lagos’s status as the business centre of Nigeria, and the location of the vast majority of foreign investment. The share in the first quarter was higher than at any point in 2015, although, and represents an increase of 1.3% points relative to the first quarter of 2015. However, in the second quarter of 2016 the share was slightly lower than the 69.1% recorded in the same quarter of 2015.

Abuja International Airport was the second busiest international airport in the first half of 2016, as in previous periods. In the first quarter, 220,592 international passengers travelled through the airport, and 268,638 travelled through in the second, representing shares of 20.5% and 24.0% respectively.

The increase in the share in the second quarter was a result of an increase in passenger numbers of 21.8%, or 48,046 passengers; this increase is larger than the overall increase in international passenger numbers of 47,612 indicating that on average, passenger numbers decreased across other international airports. This follows a slight quarterly decrease in passengers to travel through Abuja International in the first quarter, of 1.2%.

Whereas Port Harcourt was the third largest domestic airport, Kano was the third largest international airport in each period considered. In the first and second quarter of 2016, Kano International Airport accounted for 4.2% and 5.3% of international passenger movement respectively, compared to 2.2% and 1.8% for Port Harcourt. This difference has widened in the first half of 2016, as Kano International has recorded quarterly increases of 26.7% and 29.7%, whereas Port Harcourt has recorded decreases of 15.5% and 13.4% in the first and second quarters of 2016.

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