The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has revealed that a total of 16,426 flights were delayed in the first half of 2019, out the 30,043 flights executed by the airlines.
The figures, released by the Consumer Protection Department of the apex regulatory body, confirmed that the spate of delays had worsened.
The Guardian recently reported that the problem went overboard during the summer and salah holiday travels, with almost all flights delayed.
Besides capacity issues among the airlines, the delays were not unconnected with bad weather occasioned by the rainy season, poor infrastructure at local airports, fuel shortage, among others the airlines often tuck under “operational reasons”.
The nine operational local carriers also cancelled a total of 241 flights for various reasons.
Air Peace, which accounts for about 40 per cent of the local traffic, operated 11,889 flights and topped the chart of delayed flights with 6,359 and 91 cancelled flights.
Arik Air followed with 2,306 delayed flights and 41 cancellations out of its 5,378 flight operations.
Aero Contractors operated 3,293 flights with 2,181 delayed and 36 cancelled flights while Azman Air recorded 1,312 delayed and 12 cancellations out of the 2,711 flights operated by the airline.
Dana Air operated 2,278 flights with 1,477 delayed and 25 cancellations, while Overland had 1,248 flights with 894 delayed and eight cancellations.
Max Air recorded 2,652 flights with 1,538 delayed and 19 cancellations; Med-View Airlines Plc., 374 flights with 219 delayed and eight cancelled flights and new entrant, Ibom Air had 220 flights with 143 delayed and no cancelled flight.
Air Peace Chairman, Allen Onyema, recently said that Nigerians must understand the peculiarity of the environment and sensitivity of the business.
Onyema explained that the weather is not helpful at this period. “This is the time of the year when it rains. Just one hour delay in the morning, due to rain in Lagos, already disrupts the entire day’s operation across all the routes.
“The airport infrastructure is also not helpful. The government is just trying to do something about it and until they finish, we would keep having the challenges.”