Domestic airlines in Lagos resumed operations following three months of COVID-19 lockdown.
We should recalls that the Federal Government had directed the resumption of domestic flights on July 8, after the March 30 lockdown of the airlines.
As at 6.30 a.m. on Wednesday, Arik Air passengers had started boarding for the first flight from Lagos to Abuja, scheduled to depart at 7 a.m.
It is also observed that passengers complied with the COVID-19 preventive screening measures before boarding, but stores within the airport were all locked.
A check by revealed that there had been a significant increase in airfares, as some airlines resumed operations (today) Wednesday.
The airlines raised their fares in all classes of tickets for one-hour flights from Lagos to Abuja.
Air Peace sold its Economy-Flexi Domestic plan for N33,001 for a one way Lagos-Abuja trip, while the business class ticket was sold for N80,000.
Arik Air’s economy plan was sold for N29,189, while the business class was N78,532 for a one-way Lagos to Abuja trip.
However, one of the airline officials, who preferred anonymity, said that prices of the tickets were driven by extra costs factored into the base fare.
The source said that taxes and other fares increased by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) was also responsible for the hike in fares.
Adebanji Ola, the Public Relations and Communications Manager of Arik Air, commended government agencies for putting adequate measures in place for airlines to commence operations.
Mr Ola said that Arik Air commenced three daily flight operations from Lagos to Abuja, in the first phase of the aviation restart.
According to him, it is a new beginning in the aviation sector and prays that the COVID-19 pandemic will be fully addressed in Nigeria.
He said that “for us in Arik Air, protection of passengers and cabin crew remains paramount and we have put effective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.