Domestic flights have resumed at Nigeria’s busiest airport, the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, but on a slow start.
The Lagos State Government had placed a three-day curfew in the state in a bid to address the violent protests that erupted in the country’s commercial city following the recent #EndSARS demonstrations.
The curfew warranted the halt of domestic flight operations into and out of the busiest airport in the country, a development that led to less traffic in other airports across the country.
Airline operators told PUNCH on correspondent on Monday that since the curfew was lifted by the state government, passengers had been cautious about flying, particularly because of the tense situation in many parts of the country.
This came as Air Peace, an indigenous airline on domestic and international routes, announced on Monday that it would commence regular commercial flights from its Lagos hub into Johannesburg, South Africa, before the end of the year.
Officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria as well as those of domestic and international airlines confirmed that domestic passenger volume had been on a slow start despite full flight resumption.
The spokesperson, Dana Air, Okwudili Ezenwa, said, “We are hoping that by next week, everything should have settled down because right now, people are still trying to be sure of their movements.
“Passengers are being cautious before they come out. So, things have not balanced. People are not leaving Lagos as such from the airport now; rather, they are being careful.”
He added, “In locations where no curfew was announced, other places will still have to feed such locations. So since we have curfews here and there, ultimately it affects areas where we don’t have curfew.
“But we hope everything settles down well before next week.”
Also, the spokesperson for Air Peace, Stanley Olisa, stated that although domestic flights had resumed, passengers were still cautious of flying.
“Yes domestic flights have resumed out of the Lagos airport but it is something that is only picking up gradually,” he said.
On Air Peace’s move to connect Johannesburg, Olisa said the airline had made huge progress in meeting the stipulated requirements of the aviation authorities in both South Africa and Nigeria.
This, he said, would enable the carrier begin flight operations into South Africa before the year runs out.