Airline capacity increases in response to rising operating costs.


Domestic airlines have increased flight seats as part of strategies to combat high operating costs in the aviation industry, enabling more commuters and thereby increasing revenue.

In an exclusive interview with our correspondent, Susan Akporiaye, president of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies, commented on the impact of foreign exchange scarcity by saying that the new development was part of coping mechanisms, employed by airline owners to increase the capacity of their airlines despite dwindling revenue.


She claimed that the lower-priced seats would increase the overall number of passengers on each flight, thereby reducing costs for each individual passenger.


She stated, “Our operating costs are being affected by the fluctuating exchange rate, but there has been no change as of yet. The only difference is that airlines are now letting people into the cheaper seats. Lower seats are being made available by some of them.


Earlier, airlines stopped selling seats in the cheapest fare categories in favour of charging a premium for more luxurious options. Because of the trapped fund problem, airlines had to stop selling low-priced tickets but, with the current exchange rate, they are once again making a profit. The majority of them are giving away discount tickets because they need the money.


Experts in the aviation industry are extremely concerned about the negative effects that the recent increase in airfare, caused by the scarcity of foreign exchange among other challenges, could have on the industry as a whole.


Experts say that poor implementation of policy regulation is a bane affecting the industry, despite minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development Festus Keyamo’s promises to fix problems in the sector.


Group Capt. John Ojikutu, CEO of Centurion Security, has meanwhile urged regulators to conduct a comprehensive review of the commercial addition sector in order to assess the stability of the airline industry as a whole.


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