Two commercial airlines operating at the Ilorin International Airport,Overland Airline and Arik Air have reduced airfares.
Prior to this development the two existing airlines sold ticket for between N35,000 to N40,000 on Lagos and Abuja routes.
Findings by Pilot Aviation showed that Overland has dropped ticket price for online booking to N19,500 and N23,500, respectively for instant booking or counter booking to the two destinations.
Also Arik ticket, which used to go for N39,000 has been reduced to N28,400 and N33,000 respectively depending on the available seat and time.
A further investigation by this medium equally revealed that the two airlines now render more effective services to passengers while flights cancellation and delays are no longer issues to contend for passengers.
Some passengers, who spoke to this airline to healthy competition between airlines with the incursion of Medview Airline into the Ilorin route.
Recall that Medview Airline started operating on the route barely a month ago with fare ticket of between N19,400 and N24,500 depending on the available seat.
A passenger, Mrs. Chioma Benson stressed that competition is a tool for effective service in the aviation sector.
She said, ” With the coming of Medview, no airline can claim monopoly on any route again because we now have choice of which day and airline to fly.”
Another passenger, Miss Gimbiya Aduda, called for more airlines to further reduce the fare and break monopoly.
” We learnt that Air Peace has started flying Lagos-Akure at the rate of N10,000 and this is possible on the Ilorin route too.
According to him, airlines are cheaper in advanced countries flying for hours from one city to another because they are many.
She said, ” For Nigeria here, there are specific routes that are being operated by particular airlines so they determine the fare and schedules because as a passenger you don’t have a choice.
However, a staffer at the airport, who craved anonymity noted that the major solution to reduction of airfare in the country is for the Federal Government to cut down on excessive tax.
He said ” all these issues of landing cost, ticketing permit charges, and even Jet A1 should be monitored and reduce for more local airlines to survive.
” In recent time, we have heard of local airlines folding up, abandoning some routes and reducing their staff strength, it’s because of exorbitant charges by Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and other government agencies.