To confront the daunting challenge of high operational expenses in the aviation industry, domestic airlines have taken a proactive stance by increasing the number of available flight seats. This strategic maneuver not only accommodates a larger volume of passengers but also fortifies their overall revenue streams.
In an exclusive interview, Susan Akporiaye, President of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies, addressed the pressing issue of foreign exchange scarcity. She underscored that this innovative approach serves as a vital coping mechanism deployed by airline owners to enhance their carriers’ capabilities amid a backdrop of diminishing revenues.
Akporiaye delved deeper into this strategy, explaining that, although these newly introduced lower-priced seats may appear as a cost-cutting measure, their principal objective is to bolster the average seat occupancy per flight, thereby effectively reducing the per-seat costs.
She emphasized, “While the challenges stemming from fluctuating exchange rates persist, the fundamental operating costs remain unaltered. Nevertheless, airlines have commenced the re-release of more affordable seat options. Previously, many airlines halted the sale of cheaper ticket classes and focused solely on premium offerings due to financial constraints. However, with the current high exchange rates, numerous carriers are re-introducing lower-priced seats to bolster their revenues and ensure their continued presence in the aviation sector.”
Within the aviation community, concerns continue to mount regarding the potential adverse ramifications of recent airfare increases, attributed to factors like foreign exchange scarcity and other industry challenges. Despite the reassurances from Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, experts remain skeptical about the effective implementation of regulatory policies and their impact on the sector.
In this climate of discussion and debate, Group Capt. John Ojikutu, CEO of Centurion Security, has advocated for a comprehensive evaluation of the commercial aviation sector by relevant authorities. This prudent approach seeks to safeguard the industry against further uncertainties and bolster its overall resilience.