Here’s how flight diversions to Accra, Cotonou have affected passengers, Airlines - BUSINESSDAY
Passengers and airlines have continued to count their losses over flight diversions to Accra and Cotonou over the failures of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to provide functional Instrument Landing Systems, (ILS) to enable airlines take-off and land at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA) Lagos.
While some advanced airports operate under as low as zero visibility, the foggy weather in Lagos have kept aircraft on ground and left thousands of passengers stranded at neighbouring countries where these flights were diverted to.
Passengers have missed out on opportunities and engagements over outright flight cancellations as a result of the development.
Daily, the country kept losing whatever is left of its respect as a nation and was cut off from the rest of the world as several international flights could not land or take off from the airport.
Affected passengers stuck in other countries for days kept have had to either wait for the fog to clear or go by road to Nigeria.
The airlines have also had their fair share of the sufferings as they have had to burn aviation fuel diverting to other countries and paid the extra cost to fly the passengers back to Nigeria. The airlines have also had to pay for the affected passengers’ accommodation, feeding, internet access and where necessary refund the airfare of passengers who insist they were no longer interested in travelling.
Data gathered from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN) shows that for an average aircraft, international airlines pay N82,190 for Maximum Take-Off weight. For night landing international airlines pay N386,074.64 and for day landing airlines pay N257,288.74.
On the other hand, airlines operating domestic flights pay N55,455 as Maximum Take-Off Weight. For Night landing, domestic airlines pay N260,491 and N173,597 for day landing.
With N82,190 paid for Maximum Take-Off weight and N386,074 for night landing, Lagos airport lost N7,031,522 for the 18 diverted flights international airlines between Monday and Thursday.
With N55,455 paid as Maximum Take-Off weight and N173,597 for day landing, the airport lost N1,097,037 for the six diverted local flights in four days.
For each aircraft diverted, international airlines have had to pay an average of 100dollars (36,000) for hotel accommodation for the stranded passengers.
With an average of 250 passengers on each flight, these airlines have had to pay N162, million for the 18 diverted flights from Monday to Thursday.
All these costs summed up to show that airlines and Lagos airport have lost N170,128,559.