Nigeria flight resumption scheduled for June 21
If you are planning to travel by air to any part of Nigeria once the restrictions on local flights is lifted by June 21, then be prepared to pay a premium for it.
This was the reality Boss Mustapha, Nigeria head of a Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 prfesented to Nigerians on Thursday.
Mustapha said high transport costs will characterise the Nigerian economy as the lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic becomes eased across the country.
Speaking during a briefing in Abuja on Thursday, Mustapha explained that air travel will particularly be expensive upon flight resumption due to the need to maintain social distancing onboard.
He said: “For the transport sector because the passenger load has been reduced now, as a result, there is a hike in the prices. That is part of the problem that the entire world will be confronted with.
“Because of COVID-19, everything is in turmoil. Flying after COVID-19 will be one of the most expensive ventures because if you are going to maintain social distancing, what happens to the capacity of the aircraft as built in such a way to accommodate about 100 passengers?
“If you maintain social distancing, the capacity might reduce to about 50%. It (the aircraft) will burn the same fuel. It will operate with the same crew. It will consume the same consumables. Who pays for the extra? So, there is going to be turmoil in the economy of the whole world, Nigeria not an exception.
“I am not urging transporters to hike their prices but it is going to be the reality of the time. And what government will have to do is what it is doing now: creating stimulus for the commerce, manufacturing, agriculture (industry) to soften the effect of this turmoil that is being brought in the management of the economy of our nation.”