Air travelers at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja have lamented the hike in price of air tickets by airlines ahead of the Christmas celebration.
Some of the travelers said they were not surprised because they knew it had always been the case during yuletide seasons.
Mr Obiora Okeke, a businessman, said he was not surprised that flight ticket prices have soared considering the antecedents of airlines during festive periods.
Okeke said the issue of fare hike would not stop unless alternative means of transport like modern train services and good roads were provided.
He also attributed the hike to the absence of efficient and viable domestic airlines in the country, adding that the airlines were struggling to survive.
“It is not surprising that we are paying higher fare this time because it has been the case in Nigeria during festive periods because the same thing happens even in road transport sector.
“The only way out is that government should continue with rail projects to provide alternative means of transportation for people.
“Aside that, we don’t have many viable domestic airlines in Nigeria and the few we have are struggling to survive,” he said.
Another traveler, Mrs Asabe Musa, said the airlines were taking undue advantage of people’s fears of road travels due to insecurity and bad roads.
Musa called on the government to do more to tackle security challenges that has made roads dangerous for the public in many parts of the country.
She also urged the government to pay more attention to railway to make it easy for people to travel.
NAN reports that the air fare has gone up by almost double of all the prices about few weeks ago.
Air fare on these routes charged by various airlines before now ranges from N19,000 to N41,000 depending on the airline and time of booking.
A check by NAN on the price list of the various airlines revealed that they now charge between N36,000 and N70,000 on economy and N70,000 to N90,000 on business class depending on the time and destination.
For Air Peace, its tickets were sold between N42,600 and N70,000 on Abuja-Lagos route as at Saturday and in spite of the high price of ticket, only its evening flight had some available seats as at Saturday morning.
Arik sold its ticket ranging from N35,000 to NN46,000 on all routes while Max Air tickets sold for between N40,000 and N70,000 on Lagos-Abuja route, N30,000 to N60,000 for Abuja-Kano route and N65,000 on Abuja-Port Harcourt route.
Other airlines like Aero Contractors, Dana Air, Medview sold their tickets between N44,188 to N52,000; N34,200 to N79,200 and N33,748 to N54,646 respectively.