Competitors hike fare 100% after Azman Air suspension
Following the suspension of Azman flights on some northern routes, air fares to these routes have increased by over 100 per cent.
Checks showed that Lagos-Kano flight one-way is N56,500 on Max Air while it’s N73,000 on Air Peace for a second day flight. Similar flight used to be less than N35,000 on the same route before Azman stopped its services last week.
Also, Kano-Lagos flight for Tuesday has been fully booked when our correspondent checked.
Following the development, many passengers have continued to inundate travel agents with enquiry on when Azman Air would resume operations.
Prior to the suspension of Azman Air by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) last Tuesday, the carrier operates 15 daily flights to most destinations in the North comprising Kano, its operational base; Maiduguri, Kaduna, Kebbi; Yola, among others.
With its suspension, some airlines have increased frequencies on the routes.
For instance, Max Air was more positioned to cash in on the suspension of Azman Air following the delivery of two new aircraft to the airline which have been deployed.
The airline which also has its operational base in Kano has increased flight frequencies to various locations including Abuja-Sokoto-Abuja; Abuja-Katsina-Abuja, and then Kano.
The airline increased the Abuja-Sokoto-Abuja flight from one daily frequency to two ditto Kano and Maiduguri.
Similarly, Aero Contractors introduced the Kano-Abuja flight a few days ago.
It was also learnt that some of the routes covered by Azman Air are presently unserved like Kebbi and Gombe leaving passengers on those routes in a fix.
A travel agent, Mr Benjamin Shotunde who said the suspension of Azman Air has further worsened connectivity across the country.
“We have limited options in Kano, Kaduna and even Abuja. This industry is already suffering. We can’t afford to lose any airline even if the airline is going one route. Arik is having issues, Air Peace is experiencing capacity constraints,” he said.
An aviation analyst, Mr Olumide Ohunayo said the development especially as it relates to increased air fares is expected with the suspension of Azman Air, but the regulator should be allowed to do its work.
Meanwhile, Azman is upbeat on resuming flight probably this week as the NCAA concludes its audit. It confirmed on its Twitter page that its schedule might be released on Wednesday for a fresh start.
The Authority is expected to take a decision on the airline from recommendations by the report of the inspection team.