Relatively speaking Nigeria has been one of the fastest growing Business Aviation markets in the world, a fact propelled by a mix of variables that would explain the trend. Jetseta's Felipe Reisch assesses the market and growth potential…
Compared to other regions within the world, Nigeria’s Business Aviation market is still quite small, but there is a cluster of variables at play that boost the use of private jets here.
These include a relatively stable economy, a shaky Commercial Aviation system, and a shift in perception by Business/Private Aviation users. Nowadays flying in a private jet is no longer seen as a luxury but a tool to increase productivity levels and enhance cost efficiency.
This new realization of what private aviation brings to the table has allowed the market in Nigeria to bloom.
The rise in activity caught the eyes of the government, which has already removed import duties on new jets and opted to not specify a time restriction for foreign aircraft in Nigeria. The Nigerian government has also invested in the currently-delayed, but soon-to-be-opened terminal in Abuja.
Positive movement in the public-sector has been partially the result of the increased use of Private Aviation (driven by a lack of other competitive means for transportation). Indeed, some argue that more immediate economic development returns come from investing in the Business Aviation market, as opposed to building new roads or rail networks.
Whatever the case, the oil and gas industry, as well as finance and manufacturing have benefited from the amenities of the Business Aviation industry, landing in places not served by commercial flights, and connecting Nigerian communities that are otherwise isolated or only precariously connected.
Maximizing Access to BizAv in Nigeria
This boom has seen local companies like Jetseta rise to the occasion, and service local demand through a mobile app connecting travelers to Private Aviation providers at attractive fares worldwide.
It is a certainty that there are more private aircraft in Nigeria than scheduled airliners, a clear message regarding the preferences and habits of those that can travel by air in the country.
This segment will continue thriving if given the opportunity thanks to its flexible nature, the extreme privacy and excellent comfort. Flexibility is the main trait that will always position the segment even above first-class travel aboard the airlines (i.e. negating the need to arrive hours prior to departure and pass through crowded terminals).
Nigerians are demystifying what has been known in the past as a luxury market. Today, Private Aviation needs to be considered an essential tool for growth in the country, connecting different businesses in diverse regions lacking adequate access to daily flights with the scheduled airlines.
Business Aviation is a necessity in Nigeria, not a luxury. We conclude with some brief statistics offering a snapshot of the Nigerian Business Aviation marketplace.
- The Nigerian Business Aviation marketplace can be described as an Oligopsony
- Currently there are about 36 private jet operators in Nigeria
- Half of these are state-owned
- There are about 100 foreign-registered aircraft operating in Nigeria
- Large-Cabin jets are in high demand for private charter requests
- The industry turnover is believed to be about $6.5bn dollars per annum
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