A summary report of air transport operations in Nigeria involving international, domestic, and regional flights shows that Nigeria is indeed a big market for air transportation not only in West Africa but in Africa.
An executive summary report of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on international and domestic flight operations from January to March 2023 (Q1 2023)shows that a number of 3, 073 flights operated on international routes while 182, 88 flights operated on domestic routes.
The report obtained by Aviation Metric shows that within the period under review, 25 international airlines operated 3, 073 flights with 1, 193 flight delays, 24 cancellations, six air returns, 9, 087 missing baggage, 7, 942 recovered luggage, two overbooking, 25 cases of discourtesy, 495, 076 outbound passengers, 375, 700 total number of inbound passengers, 27 cases of complaints while the NCAA was resolved to resolve eight cases.
For domestic airlines operations within the same period, eleven domestic airlines operated 182, 88 flights, 101, 28 flight delays, 284 cancellations, 28 air returns, 31 delays/missing baggage with all 31 baggage recovered, three overbookings, 42 reported cases of discourtesy recording 1, 391, 560 inbound passengers, 1, 400, 031, 1.400, 031 outbound passengers, 45 cases of complaints and 22 resolved cases.
Among the international airlines, Africa World has the highest number of international flights operated to the country with 314 flights, 97 delayed flights making up 31% of the total number of flight delays among international airlines to the country.
The airline never canceled flights but had a poor record of 223 missing baggage with all baggage recovered.
Saudi Air has the poorest number of flight delay amounting to 74%, Egypt Air, 68% of its flights are delayed, followed by Cronos 60%, Kenya Airways 57%, Air Peace 55%, Air Code d’Ivoire 54%, BADR Air 54%, RwandAir 51%, British Airways 47%, Ethiopian Airlines 43%, Turkish Airlines, 43%, Royal Air Maroc 32%, ASKY Airlines 37%, Africa World 31%, TAAG Angola 31% in that order.
United States United Airlines has the least flight delays at 3% followed by Lufthansa Airlines, Middle East Airlines at 13%; Virgin Atlantic Airways at 14%, Air France and Delta at 19%, South African Airways at 22%, Qatar Airways at 28%, making them the most two reliable airlines in terms of airlines that have fewer delays.
On the domestic scene, Overland Airways with 91%, United Nigeria Airlines has 81%, Azman 73%, Dana 72%, Max Air 68%, Aero Contractors 68%, Air Peace 66%, Arik 59%, topped the chart for airlines with worst records of flight delays.
Air Peace’s numbers are also huge. The airline recorded 1602 delayed flights out of 2421 flights operated by the airline in the first quarter of 2023 amounting to 66% of its flights being delayed which is not an enviable record for an airline.
Aero Contractors within that period operated 465 flights with 314 flights delayed; Arik Air operated 804 flights with 473 flights delayed; Azman operated 267 flights and recorded 195 flight delays; Dana Air operated 421 flights had 303 delays; Overland operated 281 flights had 257 delays; Max ax Air had 653 flights recorded 445 delays; Ibom Air had 850 flights and recorded 295 delays which is an average of 35%.
While Green Africa operated 533 flights, it recorded 193 flight delays, Value Jet seems to be the most reliable airline with just 65 flight delays out of 297 flights operated. The carrier which is less than one year since it started operations has continued to grow in operations and become a reliable airline for many Nigerians.
Overall, 7, 518 flights were operated by all Nigerian scheduled airlines recording 4, 561 flight delays.
The number of air returns continues to diminish in domestic airline services. For the same period, Aero recorded just one air return out of 465 flights operated. The same number of air returns was recorded by Arik Air, Dana, and United Nigeria while Azman, Green Africa, and Overland Value Jet recorded no air returns.
Air Peace on the other hand recorded four air returns, a remarkable feat considering that it happened when the carrier operated 2421 flights.
In total, out of 7, 518 flights just eight air returns were made; a significant improvement in flight operations in the country.
Another interesting analysis of the data shows that no airline recorded overbooking showing that the carriers operated with either a full number of seats available or carried fewer passengers on their flights.