Air traffic nationwide has recorded a 23.19 per cent growth in passenger traffic in 2018, according to the data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday.
The report shows that the passenger traffic grew to 12,791,639 passengers in 2018, from the 10,383,452 it recorded in 2017.
According to the report, the total number of international passengers who passed through Nigerian airports reached 4,438,799 in 2018 as against 4,056,717 passengers in 2017, representing 9.42 percent increase.
The NBS data further shows that the total number of domestic aircraft grew by 11.24 percent to 234,367 in 2018, from 210,693 aircraft in 2017.
It also pointed out that cargo traffic grew by 1.94 percent in 2018 when compared to 2017, while there was a 19.96 percent increase in total mail traffic in 2018 compared to 2017.
Speaking on the increase in passenger traffic, the Corporate Communications Manager, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, said that air traffic has gone up because the roads are no longer safe for travelling and the construction of new terminals at Abuja and Port Harcourt airports also encouraged passengers to travel by air.
“People are running away from kidnappers and armed robbers on the highway. People look for money by all means to fly because it is safer” Yakubu said.
She assured that the ambience across the airports has improved, especially with the opening of the new terminals in Abuja and Port Harcourt making it more attractive for passengers.
“People are expectant because the infrastructures are top notch. The toilets are clean and everything about the new terminals is a great improvement from previous ones. A lot of people are curious and a lot of people are more interested in travelling now than they were before” She added.