by ‘Jola Sotubo
The crisis plaguing the Nigerian aviation sector yesterday took a dramatic turn as recent developments have led to a sizable increase in airfares.
The recent Associated Airlines plane crash and the subsequent suspension of the operating licence of Dana Airlines are suspected to be the reasons for the hike in prices.
Commuters who thronged the airport as usual to book flights were treated to a rude shock and many of them lamented the state of events.
Passengers were, yesterday, dazed at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, MMA2 and the General Aviation Terminal, GAT, Terminal 1 as airline operators increased airfares astronomically.
Vanguard gathered at the terminal that there was a sharp increase in fares.
For instance a 55-minutes flight to Abuja attracted between N22, 000 and N26, 000 in the economy class depending on how early a prospective passenger bought the ticket.
Before the clampdown on Dana Airlines, the tickets were sold for between N18, 000 and N20, 000.
First Nation Airways that resumed flights recently after closing shop for about 14 months charged N25, 500 to Abuja while Aero collected N22, 500.
Some passengers, who spoke to Vanguard, lamented that the operators were using the opportunity of the crisis in the industry to exploit hapless travellers.
One of the passengers, Mr. Wisdom Clark said the situation was unfortunate and pathetic, stressing that in a country where the economy was going down, airlines were still charging exorbitant fares.