European, Asian, American Airlines Earn N158bn From Nigeria In 2012

 By Chuks Ike Okoh, Peter Olowa & Teliat Sule
Business Day, Thursday, March 7, 2013

British Airways (BA), Emirates, Air France and other airlines operating international routes in the country realised about N158.1 billion from the sale of tickets in 2012, according to an analysis of tickets sold by international airlines in 2012 by BusinessDay Research and Intelligence Unit (BRIU).

This compares to the N156 billion sold in 2011, based on the data provided by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

Other heavyweights on international routes identified in the analysis include Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic, Ethiopian Airlines and Delta Airlines. “British Airways is one of the best airlines in the world in terms of safety and quality of service”, Folashade Olutayo, CEO, Beyond Travels and Tours Limited, said.

The report shows that for the two consecutive years under review, British Airways remained the first choice of international travellers, when measured in terms of the volume of proceeds it realised from ticketing in both 2011 and 2012. In 2012, BA made N33.5 billion from tickets sold, compared with N31.7 billion it made in 2011.

For this reason, BA succeeded in raising its market share from 20.4 percent in 2011 to 21.2 percent in 2012.

Emirates Airlines occupied the second position in terms of market share in 2012 having realised about N22.4 billion from the sales of tickets, compared with N30.5 billion made in 2011. Though it controlled 19.6 percent of the total market share in 2011, its market share dropped to 14.2 percent in 2012.

The sharp drop in Emirates’ market share was attributed to the rising patronage Etihad and Qatar Airways got in 2012. Etihad made N2.5 billion just as Qatar Airways realised N8.2 billion in 2012.

Air France, Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic also made N13.9 billion, N12.1 billion and N11.4 billion in 2012, as against N11.3 billion, N12.9 billion and N11.7 billion they made in 2011 respectively.

Of the 20 airlines covered by our analysis, seven recorded more sales in 2012 than they recorded in 2011. Interestingly, Turkish Airlines is beginning to challenge the traditional heavyweights on international operations because it posted the best performance, recording 107 percent increase in ticket sales between the years under review. In monetary terms, it sold N3.6 billion worth of tickets in 2012 up from N1.7 billion in 2011. Other up-coming airlines like Egypt Air, Air France, Saudi Arabian and Ethiopian Airlines performed creditably, as they increased their ticket sales by 33 percent, 23 percent, 22 percent and 22 percent respectively when compared with 2011 figures.

On the other hand, the tickets sold by eleven airlines nosedived, of which the worst hit was Iberia Airlines.

The amount of tickets it sold in 2012 fell to N629 million down from N1 billion the previous year. The Emirates, Alitalia, Kenya Airways, KLM and Royal Air Maroc were equally hit. The Emirates sales fell by 26 percent, Alitalia 19 percent, Kenya Airways 12 percent. KLM and Royal Air Maroc went down by 8 percent each.

However, for the 20 airlines analysed, the cumulative proceeds realised from ticket sales last year averaged about N13.1 billion on monthly basis and 2 percent higher than the N155.5billion recorded in 2011.

This is also true for the Federal Government which raked in N7.9 billion through 5 percent generation from the sales of tickets and that was slightly above the N7.8 billion earned in 2011.

This positive growth in ticket sales in Africa in 2012 aligned with experts opinions in Air Transport Market Analysis, a publication of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

According to Air Transport Market Analysis, “air freight markets declined further in 2012, contracting 1.5 percent after falling 0.6 percent in 2011. A sharp slowdown in world trade growth and shifts in commodity mix, favouring sea transport placed further downward pressure on air freight demand in 2012.

Asia-Pacific airlines were most affected, seeing contraction of 5.5 percent in 2012. The exceptions were Middle Eastern and African airlines, with growth of 14.7 percent and 7.1 percent in 2012, supported by new trade lanes and developing trade links between Africa and Asia.”