NIGERIA: 148.3 Million Travellers Passed Through Nigerian Airports In 10 Years

No fewer than 148,357,253 air travellers passed through 26 airports in Nigeria between 2012 and 2021, statistics obtained from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) have revealed.

However, the statistics show that the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA), Omagwa and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja attracted the highest passenger movements in the country than the others.

The statistics indicate that in 2012, the Nigerian airports recorded 14,370,795 as inbound and outbound passengers, 2013 recorded 14,126,767 while 2014 had 15,339,393 inbound and outbound travellers across the 26 recognised airports and terminals.


For 2015, the country had 15,222,887 travellers, while 2016 recorded 15,232,597 travellers around the country’s aerodromes.

Others are 2017; 14,440,169, 2018; 16,371,674 and 2019 had 17,580,023 travellers.

For 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Nigeria recorded a meagre 10,447,321 outbound and inbound travels within the period.

It is however pertinent to note that global travel recorded a dip due to travel bans, lockdowns and other measures taken by the governments to checkmate the spread of the virus in 2020 and extended to 2021.

For the 2021 year, when global travel was recovering from the pandemic, inbound and outbound travels increased slightly in Nigeria to 15,225,627.

The statistics revealed that Lagos Airport led the other aerodromes in passenger movement for the years under review with about 58 million passenger movements.

Some of the data received revealed that the airport had 4,771,531 in 2012; 6,754,929 in 2013 and 5,345, 948 in 2014. For 2015, Lagos recorded 5,956,192, 2016; 5,757,512, 2017; 6,553,151 and 6,194,304 passenger movement in 2018.

Also, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; Port Harcourt International Airport and Aminu Kano International Airport (AKIA), Kano recorded appreciable passenger traffic in the last decade.

But, Maiduguri, Sokoto, Yola, Katsina, Minna, Gombe, Enugu, Akure, Benin, Bauchi.Kebbi, Dutse and Ibadan airports recorded very low passenger traffic within the last decade with some of them having less than 10,000 passengers as inbound and outbound in 10 years.

However, the data provided excluded the passenger traffic at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two (MMA2), Lagos and Asaba International Airport, which are privately owned.

For MMA2, the terminal, which is operated by the Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), has never released passenger statistics since it was opened for operations on May 7, 2007.

All enquiries for this purpose had failed, while for Asaba Airport, the State Government handed it over to consortiums of private companies in 2021.

Aircraft movement in half a decade

Also, another statistic obtained from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) itemised the aircraft movement in and out of Nigeria in the last five years.

The statistics showed that Nigeria recorded a total of 1,148,495 aircraft movements, among over 37 domestic and foreign airlines.

For domestic travel, there were a total of 954,347 aircraft movements, while on the international scene, the country recorded 194,151 movements among about 25 foreign airlines, thereby making 1,148,495 between 2017 and 2021.

A year-by-year breakdown of the airports’ aircraft movement traffic showed there were a total number of 218,934 aircraft movements in 2017, indicating 178,999 for domestic and 39,935 for international routes.

Also, for 2018, there were a total number of 251,539 aircraft movements, revealing 195,622 for domestic and 55,917 for international.

The figure indicated a 14.89% rise when compared to the previous year of 2017.

In the year 2019, Nigeria recorded a total of 250,975 aircraft movement; 206,999 for domestic and 43,976 for international routes, showing a decline of 0.22% when compared to the previous year.

There was a further decline in 2020, which was due to the emergence of Covid-19 pandemic.

The year had just 173,299 aircraft movements with the domestic recording 151,512, while the international had 173,299 movements, showing a 30.95 slump when compared to 2019.

But, the traffic increased in 2021 by a whopping 46.42% with 221,212 aircraft movements recorded for the domestic routes and 253,748 for the international scene.

The domestic airlines, according to the five years report were Aero Contractors, Arik Air, Azman Air, Med-View Airlines, Dana Air, Overland Airways, Air Peace, Max Air, Ibom Air, United Airlines and Green Africa Airways.

On the foreign routes, the report mentioned Africa World Airlines, Air Cote D’Ivoire, Air France, Air Peace, Asky Airline, Azman Air, Badr Airlines, British Airways, Cronos Air, Delta Air Lines, Egypt Air, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways.

Others are KLM, Lufthansa, Middle East Airlines, Qatar Air, Royal Air Maroc, Saudi Air, South African Airways, TAAG Angola, Turkish Airlines, Tchad Air, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Airways.



2012                  14,370,795

2013                  14, 126, 767

2014                  15, 339, 393

2015                  15, 222, 887

2016                  15, 232,597

2017                  14,440,169

2018                  16, 371, 674

2019                  17,580,023

2020                  10,447,321

2021                  15,225,627


Total:                  148,357,253




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