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SAATM implementation’ll grow Nigeria’s aviation industry with speed

Following the recent establishment and inauguration of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, weekend at the ongoing African Union Summit, analysts are beginning to make projections that  more Nigerians will begin to move by air and in the process grow the sector.

Figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) suggest that the implementation of the SAATM will boost passenger movement in Nigeria from the monthly average of 774,000 to 1,171,400, an increase of 51. 3%.

Business Hilights gathered that the SAATM, an open sky treaty that encourages the liberalisation of the rules and regulations of international commercial aviation to create a free market environment for airlines, is expected to pave the way for eligible airlines of the 23 countries to conduct their business into one another’s markets and fully operate the traffic rights provided for in the Yamoussoukro Decision.

Only in 2017, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) revealed that 11,221,617 passengers passed through the nation’s airports in 2017, representing a 26.3 per cent drop when compared to 15,232, 597 in 2016.

Also, NCAA noted that in 2017, 38 international and domestic airlines operated 61,822 flights in all the airports across the country.

The number of passengers airlifted by domestic airlines, according to the document, represented 53.2 per cent of the total volume of passengers ferried within the period in contrast with the 72 per cent recorded in 2016.

The agency linked the observed drop to the challenges faced by Arik Air as the airline shut down its international flights and reduced domestic operations by 50 per cent.