AIRLINES operating within Nigeria have resorted to discounting their tickets in a bid to attract passengers as there has been a chronic shortage of flyers since the government allowed domestic flights to resume in the country.
In March, Nigeria closed all her international and domestic airports in the wake of the pandemic but with the gradual return to normality, on June 8, the Lagos and Abuja airports opened. On June 21, the Port Harcourt, Kano and Owerri airports were allowed to begin operating but international flights remained prohibited.
Airline operators reveal that passenger volume have dropped significantly, pointing out that airlines had to sensitise travellers, as well as provide incentives by way of fare reduction in order to attract more passengers back. Dana Air spokesman Okwudili Ezenwa, explained that airlines were adopting different strategies to get passengers to start flying.
He said: “People felt that may be because of the passenger service charge and other factors, fares would go up. However, we are incentivising the fares now.
“If you look at our return tickets, you will save four times on the normal base fares that we have now. So airlines are giving discounts and we all have different ways of getting passengers to fly.”
Mr Ezenwa observed that volumes were gradually improving now when compared with what was recorded last week. He noted that airlines were carrying out various surveys to determine the cause of apathy among passengers.
Arik Air spokesman Banji Ola, added: “We are making our airfares affordable and sensitising passengers that it is now safe to fly. So our fares are being made affordable and this is an incentive on its own.”
Air Peace spokesman Stanley Olisa, said that the carrier was encouraging people to fly through heavy sensitisation on its various media platforms. He added that passengers were also urged to embrace online booking and check-in to minimise contact at airports.