Over 1 million Nigerians, others travelled to the UK, Canada, other nations from Nigeria in 2021

Foreign airlines (27) airlifted 1,112,884 outbound passengers in 2021 and only 1,086,394 inbound passengers were recorded in the year under review.

This was disclosed by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) via its Executive summary of International and domestic flights.

According to the document, which was obtained by Nairametrics, 2,199, 278 passengers comprising 1,086,394 inbound and 1,112,884 outbound respectively were recorded in 2021 in 9,675 flights. This is only about 50% of the traffics recorded in 2019 (pre-COVID), but it is an indication that the sector is making a gradual rebound. However, Emirates operated 225 flights with 27,960 inbound and 18,238 outbound passengers. The airline, which could have led the chart with 21 weekly frequencies, was banned from operation for several months in 2021 due to disagreement between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Nigerian government over COVID-19 protocols.

The flight operations indicated a trend of migration as more people left the country than returned, as some of the major airlines’ passengers enroute the United Kingdom, Canada among others did not return. The Truth observed a migration trend to Europe and Middle East countries. For instance, Turkish Airline airlifted more people out than it brought back. No fewer than 115, 283 travelled out while only 95,302 returned to the country.

This is similar to Qatar Airways’ figure which showed 116,664 travelling with the airline while 111,964 returned with the airline. Also, British Airways report also indicated that while 130,820 passengers left through the airline, only 107,519 returned.

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