Ethiopian Airlines ferried 416,229 passengers between Nigeria and Addis Ababa to emerge the foreign carrier with the highest number of traffic in 2017 in the country.
The airline, which remains the only carrier that operates from five points in Nigeria: Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Kano, and Kaduna, had 202,452 inbound passengers while the outbound passengers were 213,777 in the past year.
There were 30 international carriers that operated from the five international gateways in Nigeria and Kaduna in 2017.
A report obtained from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) by Sahara Reporters indicated that British Airways emerged the second biggest carrier out of the country with 275,233 passengers. British Airways had 144,452 inbound passengers and 139,374 outbound passengers.
The investigation revealed that the 2017 passenger traffic declined by 23.4 percent when compared with 2016.
The total passenger traffic for 2017 was 11,221,617 as against 15,232,597 in 2016. The investigation revealed that the massive passenger traffic declined was due to the economic recession, which collapsed the country in 2016 and major part of 2017.
Another foreign carrier with high figure of passengers in the preceding year was Air France, which ferried 254,290; 125,436 and 128,854 as inbound and outbound passengers respectively.Also, Lufthansa had 245,151 as outbound and inbound passengers while the leading Middle East carrier, Emirates airlifted 242,033 passengers within the period. Emirates had recommenced two weekly flights to Lagos and resumed flights to Abuja on December 15, 2017. The frequencies it abandoned in the wake of the recession and scarcity of foreign exchange, which affected operations.