Overland Airways, Azman Air, Arik Air and United Airlines have been cited among most domestic airlines that recorded the highest flight delays as shown in the recent review of flights operated in 2022.
This was according to the Executive Summary of International and Domestic Operations in Nigeria (January- December 2022) compiled by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority and obtained by our correspondent.
However, in terms of the number of flights carried out in the year by a carrier over the number of delays, Overland tops the chart, it operated 2926 flights with 2451 delays, showing 84 per cent delays in all flights it operated and 11 flight cancellations.
Azman Air followed with 2,555 flight delays out of 3,713 flights operated, showing 69 per cent of flights operated were delayed while Arik Air recorded 9,750 flights operated and 6,440 delays, accounting for 66 per cent delays in its operations with 110 cancellations.
Similarly, United Nigeria which had 42 cancellations operated 6,097 times and had 4,000 delays, also showing 66 per cent of flight delays while Dana Air’s operations had 2,906 delays from 4,440 flights operated, showing 65 per cent delays and 24 cancelled flights.
According to the annual report, Air Peace recorded the highest number of flights with 24,449 domestic flights and 14,908 delays showing 61 per cent delays in flights operated. The airline also recorded 129 cancellations.
Further analysis revealed that Aero Contractors which recorded 3,106 flights had 1,889 delays and 99 cancellations; showing a 61 per cent delay,
Green Africa operated 4,648 flights with 2,111 delays showing a 45 per cent delayed flight. The airline also recorded 79 flight cancellations.
The document showed that in 2022, 26 airlines carried out 13,003 international operations to and from the shores of Nigeria while 11 domestic airlines operated 80, 328 local flights around the country.
The document also showed that international airlines had a total of 1, 648, 225 inbound passengers and airlifted 1, 855,467 out of the country while domestic airlines did 6,309,664 and 6,359,077 inbound and outbound passengers.
The data further revealed that there were 4,628 delays and 82 cancelled flights on the international operations while the number for domestic operations was a staggering 47,144 with international operations recording 31 air returns, 48,234 baggage delays against domestic operations’ 91 air returns and 449 delayed baggage.
For international operations, Cronos had the least operation with 53 flights but recorded the highest delays with 41 delays at a 77 per cent delay rate while it was followed by Turkish Airlines which operated 654 flights into Nigeria in 2022 with 420 delays, showing a 64 per cent flight delay.
Kenya Airways had 60 per cent delays having operated 344 flights to Nigeria with 205 delayed flights. Air Cote d’Ivoire operated 609 times into Nigeria with 314 delays at 52 per cent.
Egypt Air followed with 350 flight delays out of 706 flights operated into Nigeria, showing a 50 per cent flight delay.
Giving reasons for the numerous flight delays recorded in the country, the Airline Operators of Nigeria which is the umbrella body for the domestic carriers said the inadequate infrastructure at the airports is one of the contributory factors of flight delays.
The Vice President of the association, Allen Onyema, urged the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria to provide more check-in counters to help reduce flight delays.
“Flight delays and probably cancellations may be a topic for discussion this yuletide if nothing is done about the current inadequate counters for domestic airlines to check-in passengers, especially at the Abuja airport,” Onyema said.