NIGERIA – The Federal Government has approved additional flight frequencies for some African airlines operating in Nigeria for the Christmas period.

The Director, Consumer Protection, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Adamu Abdullahi said that the decision was made so as to enable the airlines to meet the spike in traffic occasioned by a high number of Nigerians travelling home for Christmas.

Abdullahi said African airlines including Royal Air Maroc, Egypt Air and some others had been granted permission by the Federal Government to operate additional flights and use wide-bodied aircraft to cater to their passengers’ needs.

He noted that African airlines come into Nigeria with Boeing 737s adding that even if these airlines flied the 800 series aircraft still the airlines would not be able to carry much luggage.

He added that these would be of great inconvenience to Nigerians as they are known to “travel heavy” with one passenger carrying 20 bags.

As a result of the unique Nigerian travel behavior, Abdullahi opined that “way around it is to ensure that whatever additional flights these airlines ask for, they get.”

According to him, the NCAA is in the forefront of ensuring the Ministry of Aviation grants the request so that passengers can have their luggage in time and avoid the problem of not arriving their destinations with their luggage.

He said, “Normally, during this period the ministry considers and gives them permission to fly in with bigger aircraft. So, even if it is once or twice a week, they can get a wide-bodied into the country and most of the luggage will still come.”

Abdullahi also revealed that some of the airlines like the Royal Air Maroc also requested for cargo flights to enable them and carry passengers’ luggage and deliver them on time for the festive season

He noted that with the concession granted the airlines, he was optimistic that the problem of delayed or missing luggage during the Christmas season would be addressed.