The apathy among air travellers towards flying after the airspace was reopened to commercial flights domestically is being addressed by airlines.
As a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Federal Government closed the country’s airspace to both domestic and international commercial flights for about three months.
The airspace was reopened for commercial domestic flights on July 8, 2020, beginning with the Lagos and Abuja airports, as other airports across the country followed subsequently.
Airline operators have revealed that passenger volume has dropped significantly after the airports were reopened.
They, however, stated that airlines had to sensitise travellers, as well as provide incentives by way of fare reduction in order to attract more passengers back to patronise their services.
The Communications Manager, Dana Air, Okwudili Ezenwa, explained that airlines were adopting different strategies to get passengers to start flying.
He said, “People felt that maybe because of the PSC (Passenger Service Charge) and other factors, the fares would go up. But we are incentivising the fares now.
“If you look at our return tickets, you will save four times on the normal base fares that we have now. So airlines are giving discounts and we all have different ways of getting passengers to fly.”
Ezenwa observed that the loads were improving now when compared to what was recorded last week.
He noted that airlines were carrying various survey to determine the cause of apathy among passengers.
“We have done our own survey and we’ve been able to balance everything and the loads are increasing gradually,” he stated.
The Communications Manager, Arik Air, Banji Ola, also stated the airline was making its fares inexpensive for travellers.
“We are making our airfares affordable and sensitising passengers that it is now safe to fly. So our fares are being made affordable and this is an incentive on its own,” he said.
Similarly, the spokesperson for Air Peace, Stanley Olisa, revealed that the carrier was encouraging people to fly through heavy sensitisation on its various media platforms.
“Telling them the measures we have put in place to guarantee passenger safety,” he stated.
Olisa said passengers were also urged to embrace online booking and check-in to minimise contact at airports.
Air Peace denies alleged strike by pilots
Meanwhile, Air Peace has denied a report that its pilots had embarked on industrial action to protest alleged pay cut for pilots by the carrier’s management.
— Air Peace (@flyairpeace) July 22, 2020
It described the report as false, stressing that its pilots were working and flying planes across the country.
The airline in a statement signed by its management said there was no strike by Air Peace pilots.