No fewer than 73,787,698 air travellers were recorded to have passed through Nigerian airports and aerodromes in the last five years, a report has revealed.
Also, within the same period, January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2021, Nigeria recorded 1,148,495 aircraft movement across its local and foreign routes among indigenous and international airlines, while it recorded 870,978,743.41kg as import and export cargo traffic in all the nation’s airports.
Also, the country recorded 260,561,935.93kg as import and export mail traffic within the airport.
The breakdown of the report indicated that in 2017, domestic passengers were 9,838,899, while the international traffic was 4,007,513, totalling 13,846,412 within the period.
For 2018, the country recorded a total number of 16,374,086 passengers, indicating 11,941,364 for domestic and 4,432,722 for international passengers.
The 16,374,086 passenger movement for 2018 indicated 18.26 percent when compared to the same period in 2017.
Besides, in 2019, Nigeria recorded a total of 17,580,023 passengers with 12,951,670 and 4,628,353 for domestic and international traffic, respectively.
The 2019 traffic just like the previous year was a boost when compared to the 2018 passenger movement, showing 7.36 percent increase.
However, for 2020, passenger movement declined drastically by 39.33 percent, which could be attributed to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that crippled the global economies.
Recall that in 2020, the Federal Government shut the airspace for three months to curb the spread of the pandemic, while the international gateways were shut for about five months.
The total passenger figure for 2020 was 10,666,357, indicating 9,069,295 for domestic travel and 1,597,062 for international travel.
Also, the total passenger traffic for 2021 stood at 15,320,822, showing 13,006,481 for domestic travel and 2,321,341 for the international routes.
The 2021 traffic indicated an increase of 43.64 percent when compared to the previous year of 2020.
While the 2021 statistics showed that domestic travel had returned to the pre-COVID-19 era as the travel locally within the past year was the highest in the last five years, but international traffic was yet to return to the pandemic period.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu, had said earlier in the year that domestic travel had recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic.