A former Minister of Aviation in Nigeria, Mr Osita Chidioka tweeted an Ethiopian fare that shows that there is a fare difference between an Ethiopian Airline flight from Akanu Ibiam Airport, Enugu, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Lagos and Kano Airport.
He asked? “Why is the flight from Enugu to China different from other destinations in Nigeria @flyethiopian
ENUGU to Guangzhou (CHINA) — N350,000
Lagos to Guangzhou — N280,000
Abuja to Guangzhou — N280,000
Kano to Guangzhou — N270,000
Kaduna to Guangzhou — N280,000
This is what he tweeted
The tweet has since gone viral and it has generated lots of comments. When we looked through some comments we noticed that some commenters are bringing tribalism to the whole fare difference issue.
The essence of this post is to explain why there is a fare difference among the airports. We conducted our own research too and we have our findings. We will review them bit by bit in the subheadings below.
Why there is a fare difference Among all the airports in Nigeria (Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Enugu, Kano etc)
The Booking Platform
This can cause a fare difference. Technology has taken over the traditional method of booking flight. Today, there are lots of flights booking websites everywhere. In Nigeria, almost all the travel agencies have a booking platform where customers can make a booking with ease.
Agent A may reduce the price to attract customers. Since agents get a commission from some airlines, they can remove some percentage of the commission from the fare displayed on their website and that will make there own less expensive than agent B.
The original person (Benny Uzoeto) that asked the question Osita Chidioka shared on his social media platform did not specify the booking platform used to get the fares. It could be an agent website or the Airline’s website. What if he booked from Ethiopian Airlines website? I will discuss why the fares on the airline website are different too below on the promo subheading.
Class Of Service
Airlines have a different class of services such as Economy, Premium Economy, Business and first class. These class of services are further divided into fare classes. Each fare class is represented with a letter and there are price and a rule attached to the letters. For instance, first class is represented with F, Business is J and Economy is Z, T, Y, B etc.
The letters are very important and contain vital information that should not be overlooked. Before you complain of high fare, check if the class of service is the same. The fare for passenger with Y class can’t be the same with a passenger with L class or D class.
Maybe as at the time of booking Enugu to Guangzhou, China the fare displayed was a higher class than other states.
Travel Date And Time
I saw people bringing fare that showed when Enugu to Guangzhou, China is cheaper than Lagos, Abuja and Kano. I know everyone is trying to prove a point. All the fares are correct. One thing you need to understand is that airfare fluctuates. Date and time affect the price. Some days and time are cheaper while some days are high. Osita Chidioka post didn’t show the dates that were used to get the fare he displayed.
Check Arik or Air Peace fare you will notice that afternoon fares are higher than late night fares. Also, Friday is always higher than on Saturday. Date and time should also be considered before complaining of high fare. They will be a time and a day Enugu will be cheaper than all the airports.
Currently, there are many airlines that are going to China from Lagos and Abuja. Because of the number of airlines involved in that route, all the airlines will be competing. For an airline to attract a customer, the airline must provide a favourable or cheaper fare than the others.
Ethiopian Airlines is the only airline that is operating the international wing of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu. They are enjoying monopoly so, they are at liberty to do whatever they want to do. They can reduce or hike the price at will since they are not competing with any other airline. The same cannot be said of Lagos where they are other airlines going to the same destination.
Yea! Sometimes, promo may affect the price of a ticket. Airlines do a promo by reducing the fares of tickets on their online platform in other to encourage travellers to use their airline online portal. Assuming you check the fare of Lagos to Guangzhou on Ethiopian airlines website and use the same date to check on a travel Agency website, there is a possibility that the fare on Airline’s website will be cheaper than the agent’s website. Sometime, the agent will be cheaper if the agency is running a promo.
The Number of customers using that airport.
The number of passengers using the airport can affect the price. Lagos and Abuja are the most used and busiest airport in Nigeria. Enugu and Kano cannot be compared to both. This can also be considered before an airline set the price of a ticket. Enugu is not a popular and viable route, you can expect such fare differentials. If the flights from Enugu to other countries are not fully booked, it can make the route expensive.
For instance, going to Dubai or London from Nigeria is more expensive than going to other African countries. A flight from Abuja to Bissau is more expensive than a flight from Abuja to Dubai.