Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has said that air passenger traffic rose to 16.2 million in 2022 from 15 million in 2021, showing an 8 percent increase, while globally, African airlines’ traffic increased 124.8 percent in January 2023.

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For Nigeria, the data showed that the increase in traffic was below the pre-pandemic levels recorded in 2019 which was 18.1 million, even as it noted that there has been a steady increase since the height of the pandemic in 2020 which had a total of 1.5 million passengers.

The figure rose to 15 million in 2021, when countries began reopening their borders, a 900 percent rise in passenger traffic when compared to 1.5 million passengers in 2020.

The agency revealed that the number of outbound passengers increased by 54.7 percent in 2021 to 1.1 million from 717,261 passengers in 2020, while inbound international passenger traffic was 1.6 million in 2022, a 45.5 percent increase when compared to 1.1 million passengers in 2021.

The data further showed that domestic carriers had a total of 12.67 million passengers, made up of 6.31 million inbound and 6.36 million outbound. It noted that in 2022, 26 airlines carried out a total of 13,003 international operations to and from Nigeria, while 11 airlines operated 80,328 domestic flights.

In 2022, 37 airlines flew over Nigeria, with 26 airlines running 13,003 foreign flights and 11 airlines operating 80,328 domestic flights.

For global travel, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) which represents 300 airlines comprising 83 percent of global air traffic announced that the recovery in air travel demand is continuing in 2023, based on January traffic results.

Total traffic in January 2023 rose to 67.0percent compared to January 2022. Globally, traffic is now at 84.2 percent of January 2019 levels.

Domestic traffic for January 2023 rose 32.7 percent compared to the year-ago period, helped by the lifting of the zero-COVID policy in China.

Total January 2023 domestic traffic was at 97.4percent of the January 2019 level.  International traffic climbed 104.0 percent versus January 2022 with all markets recording strong growth, led by carriers in the Asia-Pacific region.