Stakeholders Predict Further Drop In Foreign Flight Tickets

Emirates Airlines Resumes Flights To Nigeria October 1

Stakeholders in the nation’s aviation industry have predicted further drastic drop on flight tickets on foreign routes due to the return of Emirates Airlines to the Lagos- Dubai route.

LEADERSHIP reports that Emirates Airlines, on Thursday, set October 1st, 2024 date to resume flight operations to Nigerian airports after two years of halting operations in Nigeria.

“We’re back in Nigeria! We’ll be resuming services to Lagos from 1 October 2024, and we can’t wait to offer unrivalled connectivity to Dubai and beyond to over 140 cities.”

“The service will be operated using a Boeing 777-300ER. EK783 will depart Dubai at 0945 hours, arriving in Lagos at 1520 hours; the return flight EK784 will leave Lagos at 1730 hours and arrives in Dubai at 0510 hours the next day.

“We are excited to resume our services to Nigeria. The Lagos-Dubai service has traditionally been popular with customers in Nigeria and we hope to reconnect leisure and business travellers to Dubai and onwards to our network of over 140 destinations. We thank the Nigerian government for their partnership and support in re-establishing this route and we look forward to welcoming passengers back onboard,”

Emirates’ deputy president and chief operating officer, Adnan Kazim.

However, since the entry of Air Peace on the Lagos- London route, prices of tickets on international routes have dropped drastically from over N3 million for economy class to N1.2 million.

Speaking to LEADERSHIP, the general secretary, Aviation Round Table Initiative (ARTI), Olumide Ohunayo, said there would be competition on the route that would lead to further drop in price.

He, however, called for reciprocity to Nigeria airline, saying slots should be given to Nigerian airlines to operate to and from Dubai without any restrictions.

“They are welcome back but not too much excitement from me but what I want is that we have more supply on the international route now as it will affect supply and there will be reduction in the price of ticket. They are welcome back and they will continue to dominate the intercontinental route. We will have more supply than demand and that will affect the prices. They are coming to give the big boys a fight in the international route. Outside that, what are they bringing to the international route?

“Also, because Nigerians are the ones going to Dubai and not Emirati coming to Nigeria. Also, will they allow Nigerian flag carriers to enter Dubai and not what happened the other time to happen again. We must be given a Dubai slot if they get Lagos slot, if they want Abuja, they give us the second city, we must make this clear that whatever they get in Nigeria, they must give us the same slot, request and allocation in their country.

“The era of collecting letters from their ambassador is not what we need but what they give our carrier when we come,” Ohunayo stated.

Also speaking, the chief operating officer, Centurion Aviation Security and Safety Consult, Capt John Ojikutu (rtd), said the airline shouldn’t be allowed to fly into Lagos and Abuja but one of the two busiest airports.

He also stated that the more foreign airlines operate into Nigeria, the more aviation revenue Nigeria will earn through commercial aviation.

“The return of Emirate airlines is good for us more than for the airline. However, the airline can come to Lagos as many times as it wishes daily but not again to Abuja and Lagos. Secondly, we need many of the foreign airlines flights if we have not been reasonable enough to get flag carriers where for over 25 years we can not establish a National Carrier.

“The more the foreign airlines flights the more is our commercial aviation revenue earnings from them as they contribute about 80 per cent of the earnings,” Ojikutu stated.

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