The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has said foreign airlines (27) airlifted about 1,112,884 outbound passengers in 2021 and only 1,086,394 inbound passengers were recorded in the year.
The aviation agency disclosed this in its Executive summary of International and domestic flights.
In the document, which was obtained by newsmen, 2,199, 278 passengers comprising 1,086,394 inbound and 1,112,884 outbound respectively were recorded in 2021 in 9,675 flights.
However, the figure reflects only about 50% of the traffics recorded in 2019 before the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemics that has been wreaking havoc since. It is however believed that the figure is an indication that the aviation sector is making a gradual rebound.
A breakdown of the figure shows that Africa World Airline led with 1,141 flights airlifting 42,882 inbound passengers and 47, 692 outbound, while Asky followed with 884 flights and 63, 184 inbound and 65,307 outbound passengers. On its part, Ethiopian Airlines operated 828 flights airlifting 120,349 inbound and 97,845 outbound passengers, just as British Airways operated 584 flights with 107,519 inbound and 130,820 outbound passengers.
Also, Turkish Airline had 669 flights with 95,302 inbound and 115, 283 outbound passengers, while Lufthansa did 555 flights airlifting 75,641 and 78,139 inbound and outbound passengers. Qatar Airways on its part operated 679 flights with 111,964 and 116,664 inbound and outbound passengers. Before its suspension, Emirates operated 225 flights with 27,960 inbound and 18,238 outbound passengers.
Reactions have since been trailing the development, as experts believed more people left the shore of Nigeria than those coming in. The experts also attributed the development to the poor state of the nation economy and the high spate of insecurity in the country.