The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Monday said domestic flight operations declined by 67 percent in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the same period last year.
The NCAA’s Consumer Protection Department disclosed that 10,366 flights operated in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the 15,434 flights operated in 2016 by the same eight domestic airlines.
The agency, in a document, said the domestic airlines are Aero Contractors, Arik Air, Air Peace, Azman Air, Dana Air, First Nation, Med-View, and Overland.
It added that out of the 10,366 flights operated in the first quarter, there was 6,789 delay and 318 cancellations.
Air Peace, which operated 3,262 flights, topped the chart of delayed flights with 2,036.
Arik Air recorded 1,059 delayed flights and 246 cancellations out of its 1,665 flight operations.
Dana Air operated 1,525 flights with 1,017 delayed and five cancellations.
Meanwhile, the domestic airlines said that various factors militated against their successful operations in the country.
These included the high cost of aviation fuel, inadequate navigational aids and multiple charges by the various aviation agencies.
The President of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Capt. Nogie Meggison, said there was a need to create a more conducive environment for domestic airlines to thrive.
Meggison said that Nigerian carriers were restricted to daylight operations in most airports in the country while airlines in other West African countries operate 24 hours.
On his part, the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, decried the issue of multiple charges imposed on the airlines, adding that it had put many of them out of business.
“If these taxes are not reduced, more airlines will crumble. No airline can survive this regime of taxes. Currently, we pay about 37 charges.
“The taxes have been here before this government and that is why we are appealing to them to streamline the charges as a form of support to the airlines,” Onyema said.