…Other benefits to come-NAMA
More airlines are beginning to fly through the Nigerian airspace and this has been attributed to a number of reasons not unconnected to the safety of the Nigerian airspace as well as the time factor it tends to reduce.
Nigerian Flight Deck can authoritatively say that overflyers across the Nigerian airspace have increased compared to what entailed same time in 2014 as statistics have shown that 11, 190 aircraft have passed through the country’s airspace between January and April, 2015 growing from 10,291 the same period in 2014.
A credible source in NAMA told our reporter that the increase in overflyers is related to a number of factors chief of which is attributed to the safety of the airspace and the confidence reposed on the airspace managers by these airlines which has led to increased number of airlines plying different routes. “There is confidence now and people are seeing that our navigational equipment have improved and this is leading to them going through here and that also cuts their time of travel and this is good for us and the airlines as well as it saves them time.” “To digress a bit, normal flights to Abuja now have been cut by 10 minutes and this saves fuel for the airlines and time for the passenger and everyone is happy that the system is working, it may not be 100%yet but we may get there soon with everything we are putting in place.” “Even the safe tower project which is not fully operational yet will bring a lot of benefits when it becomes fully operational.” “There is the possibility of further increase of overflyers especially from this period down to September which people see as the peak period as more people will travel for holidays and other things.” “ It can only get better and we are hoping to maintain this base and move higher, because in truth more airlines flying through your airspaces simply means users have reposed some confidence in you to do so and it tells you your navigational equipment is in tip top shape or else people would avoid your airspace like a gravitational pull.” Statistics obtained from the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) also showed a figure of 899 more overflyers as a direct comparison between both years. In all, there were 298 airlines that flew through the nation’s airspace between January and April this year. Month-by-month analysis indicated that in January, the country’s airspace recorded 2,833 over flyers, February; 2,607, March 8,014 while April stood at 2, 736 overflyers. The data also shows that the Air France Group, recorded a total of 1,125 overflyers within the period, had 801 frequencies in January, 255 in February, 294 in March and 275 in April. Other airlines with high frequencies are South African Airways with a total 914 flights. The breakdown indicated that the airline had 217 in January, same number of frequencies in February, 247 in March and 288 in April. Also, Ethiopian Airlines Corporation came third with 816 frequencies with the breakdown as follows; 227in January, February had 108, March 248 while April had 288 frequencies. Royal Air Moroc was fourth on the statistics with a total 676 frequencies, January; 177, February; 145, March 172 and April had 179 frequencies. Next on the table was Emirates Airlines with 492 frequencies in four months; January 187, February 127, March 115 and 118 frequencies in April. Also, Asky Airlines with 461 closed followed Emirates. Asky Airlines recorded 70 frequencies in January, 121 in February, 141 in March and 1298 in April. Others are Kenya Airways with 442 frequencies in four months; Ceiba Intercontinental S.A had 389; Privatair (South Africa) had 340 frequencies; Brussel Airline Fly also from South Africa recorded 321 frequencies; Camair-Co, 291 and Turkish Airlines had 281 frequencies. Others were Iberia-Lineasaereas De Espana with 266; Etihad 244; Egypt Air, 206; Air Namibia, 205; Government of Niger, 195; Tap Air Portugal, 195; KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, 190; Air Mobility Command (AMC), 178; Trans Air Congo, 175; Air Cote D’Voire, 170; Deutsche Lufthansa AG, 165; Condor Air/Lufthansa, 134; British Airways Plc, 132; Qatar Airways; 127, Cargolux Airlines, 115 and Cronos Airlines with 104 frequencies in four months among many others.