Green Africa Airways has commenced discounted flight operations in Nigeria with just N6,500 fares
The airways made its maiden flight to Ibadan Airport on the 12th of August, following the recent upgrades and other infrastructural improvements made by the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde.
The airline is expected to commence flight operations between Ibadan and Lagos with just N6,500 (Six Thousand, Five Hundred Naira Only) to reduce traffic congestion on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
According to the airline, due to the ongoing road construction, its service offers a convenient alternative to the traffic congestion on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
In a post by the People Democratic Party via Twitter on Saturday, the Lagos-based airline had commenced flight ticket sales for as low as N6,500.
According to the statement, “this development is among several efforts of the Oyo State Government under Governor Makinde, who has been working tirelessly since the inception of his administration to make life comfortable for citizens and residents of the state and Nigerians in general.”
The Governor has also outlined plans to expand the airport and the existing construction and expansion of the airport road in his #Omituntun2.0 agenda.
DAILY GIST learnt that the discounted fares are available for a limited time only. Tickets can be booked on the Green Africa Airways website or mobile app.
Investigation revealed that the seating capacity for an ATR 72-600 aircraft that Green Africa would operate would take between 70 and 78 passengers, depending on the seat configuration.
John Ojikutu, aviation security consultant and secretary general of the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI) stated that the load factors of the small aircraft were lower, so they may not break even if they charge the same rates with airlines having bigger aircraft.
It costs airlines between $500,000 and $1 million to carry out mandatory C-checks on their aircraft every 18 months.
Checks show that it costs not less than N2 million to operate a one-way flight using a Boeing 737 aircraft.
In addition, operators need to pay for landing and parking fees, ground handling costs, en-route air navigation services, and catering, among others.
Aviation analysts say when airlines charge passengers less than N40,000 for a one-way flight, they are operating at a loss or relying on government intervention funds, palliatives or concessions on recurring debts.
However, Tolu Odutola, a pilot and aviation expert, argued that Green Africa operates ATR 72-600, which are generally cheaper to maintain than the 737s, CRJs and other aircraft operated by local airlines.
Operations cost is generally cheaper, which is probably why ticket costs are commiserated, Odutola said but noted that N16,500 fare might also be an introductory rate to break into the market.
The launch of the Ibadan-Lagos flights is a welcome development for residents of both cities, who are eager to avoid the traffic on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.