The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on Tuesday, said that Airlines may increase air fares by 45 per cent due to the menace of Covid-19 pandemic.
The federal government agency also said the hike in air fares will be charged by airlines when flight operations resume at the Nigerian airports soonest.
The General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu further noted that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) briefed FAAN about the increase in air fares as it gets ready to open the airports.
She also hinted that air passengers should also expect setbacks in terms of delays and long hours of checks and re-checks right from when they arrive the airport and depart as a result of checkmating further spread of the pandemic.
According to Yakubu; “passengers should expect that airlines will charge more in terms of airfare ….the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that there would be 45 percent increase in fares”.
She maintained that reopening of the nation’s airports soon is in motion at the moment.
Yakubu also clarified that escorts of VIPs would no longer be tolerated to follow their principals into the terminal adding that such principals would be made to undergo all health checks.
“Passengers are expected to leave their home early hours before their flights to go through the various checks before entering the terminal and after.
“We are going to expect flight delays, flights will experience delays from checks and re-checks. If you are travelling, I will expect a potential traveller to leave home hours before his flight. Why do I say this?
”Because there is going to be a lot of checks in the front of the terminal we have been told that some new activities and procedures will take place in front of the terminal. So air travellers are expected to leave home very early so that they can get to the airport on time,” Yakubu said.
She, however, noted that the menace of the Covid-19 has caused a lot of changes to air travel and in a bid towards maintaining safety of customers and airport users the way of doing things should change unlike what’s obtainable in time past.
According to her; “the pandemic will make people cut down on non-essentials and lead to low demand of air travel”.
She further posited that social distancing would be observed at all the airports as well as temperature screening, wearing of face masks, disinfection of shoes and luggage of passengers regardless of personalities.
“There will be floor markings indicating where each passenger will wait on the queue, arriving Passengers will also be subjected to temperature screening, physical distancing too will be observed while passengers are waiting by the carousel to pick up their luggage.
“Passengers are expected to arrive the airport with their face masks on, their luggage and pairs of shoes to be disinfected. Passengers are expected to observe social/physical distancing.
“Passengers will subject themselves to temperature screening and departure halls will be arranged in such a way that physical distancing too will be observed”.
She spoke at an aviation webinar organised by Women in Aviation (WIA) Nigeria with the theme, “Aviation: The New Norm in the post COVID”, which was anchored by the WIA President, Mrs. Rejoice Ndudinachi and featuring top female industry players.
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