Why Abuja-London Flight Is Cheaper Than Lagos-London – Stakeholders

Nigerians travelling to the United Kingdom from Lagos pay higher tickets fare than those travelling from the Federal Capital Terirory (FCT), Abuja, LEADERSHIP investigation shown.

Visits to the websites of British Airways, Qatar Airline, Air France and Rwanda Air, yesterday, confirmed that flying from Abuja to the United Kingdom is, indeed, cheaper than going from Lagos.

For instance, a one way ticket, economy class, British Airways, Lagos-London is N776,096; Qatar Airways, Lagos-London cost N231,050 and Air France, Abuja-London: N293, 575.

However, Rwanda Air, Abuja -London costs N207,510; British Airways, Abuja-London is N315,178 and Qatar Airways, Abuja-London is N222,227 respectively.

According to www.statista.com, an average of 150,000 and 72,000 Nigerians travel to United States and United Kingdom yearly respectively for different purposes.

Stakeholders identify higher passenger traffic from Lagos, landing charges and taxes as determinant of air fare prices between Lagos to London and Abuja to London.

Speaking on the reasons for the difference in charges, a consultant with Ethiopian Airlines, Ikechi Uko said it’s basically because of the demand and supply.

He said the higher the demand, the higher the price. If the passengers are higher in Lagos, the fare will definitely be higher.

According to him, “How many passengers are there in Abuja? It is basically to the government officials and few passengers. In Lagos, the demands are higher and definitely, the prices will be higher.”

Also speaking, a stakeholder with over 15 years in aviation industry, said the traffic determines the prices.

He said when you have higher passenger traffic, you will definitely have higher prices.

He also identified landing Charges as another reason that could affect air fare. He said some airports have more charges to pay than others and this affect the prices of fares.

However, other stakeholders have identified trapped foreign airlines fund, increasing demands for tickets, government’s charges and taxes among others as causes of high ticket cost on the international routes.

Aviation stakeholders, however, opined that airlines’ booking app gives same information irrespective of any part of the world the passenger is making the booking from.

But, upon inquiry from a senior official of British Airways, Adetutu Otuyalu, on reasons why Abuja is cheaper than Lagos declined comment saying she doesn’t respond to media enquiries on weekend but, asked our correspondent to send electronic mail.

The chief operating officer, Aglow Aviation Support Services Limited, Tayo Ojuri said reasons why ticket price on international routes is higher in Lagos than Abuja was because of yield management in ticket sales and because of traffic on Lagos route than Abuja.

According to Ojuri, airlines tickets are sold on yield management because Abuja being the political capital of the country is more of people in government while Lagos as economic capital of the country is peopled with those in government, organised private sector among others.

He said, “ticket price is based on yield management that is, how fast can it be sold at a particular location due to traffic. So, because of Lagos demography and diversity, tickets sell faster than Abuja. Abuja is peopled mostly by those in government.” He continued, “aircraft gets filled faster in Lagos than in Abuja hence, responsible for the reduction in price in Abuja than in Lagos.”

A travel agent, Kunle Olayeni said the reason Abuja price is reduced to Lagos is because Abuja is closer to the United States than Lagos.

He said, “Abuja is 45 minutes from Lagos meaning 45minutes has been taken out of your journey to the United Kingdom.”

On his part, Frank Meke, another travel agent, explained to LEADERSHIP the cause of having fare disparity between Nigeria and other African countries.

According to him, withholding foreign airlines’ funds for years by the federal government which negates Bilateral Air Transport Agreements (BATA), is another reason why the nation is currently experiencing high disparity in ticket fare in West Africa.

Meke said, “high ticket fare from Nigeria to Europe and America is unexplainable and had been like that for ages. Simplist reason is that our Aviation mechanics is cumbersome with highest fees for services which aid international travels and also because we trap their funds down for years which negates Bilateral Air Transport Agreements ( BATA) so, to cover cost of these delays is the high fare rise.

“Also, sometimes, the foreign airlines were tempted to sell tickets in dollars instead of naira, which again, is to enable them, get their resources out. But again, this runs counter to Nigeria sovereign image, that no one can trade with dollar against naira, which is our currency of exchange,” Meke said.

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