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A recent fact-check by the Airlines Operators of Nigeria (AON), the umbrella body for indigenous operators in the nation’s aviation sector, has revealed that the foreign carriers currently account for 90 per cent of the four million international passengers that travel through Nigerian airports yearly.
According to the study, the capital flight involved within the period is in excess of $3 billion (N1.050 trillion).
Additional facts from the AON report revealed that no fewer than 34 foreign carriers operate in and out of Nigerian cities almost on a daily basis. Among them are nine African carriers.
Some of the airlines making their money from the weak operational base of local carriers and the absence of a national carrier include Ethiopian Airlines, the largest carrier on the continent, operates into Enugu, Kano, Abuja, and Lagos daily.
Besides, Turkish Airline operates in four cities of Abuja, Kano, Lagos, and Port Harcourt. Emirates Airline currently has four frequencies daily from Lagos and Abuja.
Reacting to the scenario in an interview, the President of the National Association of Travel Agencies (NANTA), Bernard Bankole, said the Nigerian market is viable and a feeder for other markets, stressing that “The statistics goes to show the enormous gains that await the country if we are able to get it right with our national carrier plan”.
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