The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja on Saturday witnessed an upsurge in passenger traffic as more people departed to other states ahead of the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.
The Federal Government on Tuesday declared August 12 and August 13 as public holidays to mark the Muslim festival.
Our correspondent, who visited the counters of domestic airlines as well as departure lounges, observed a mass of activities with substantial movements witnessed in the last 24 hours.
Many outbound passengers were seen waiting to travel while the arrival section of the domestic wing, conversely, was very scanty as few passengers landed in the last 24 hours.
At regular intervals, many outbound flights departed with a reasonable number of passengers while more anxiously awaited their flight hours.
Some airline officials said the airport had witnessed a deluge of passengers in the past one week ahead of the celebration.
Mr Kehinde Ogunyale, Abuja Station Manager of Max Air, commended the Federal Government for granting airlines opportunity to carry air travelers based on individual airline’s capacity.
“All our flights to states in the north have been fully booked from Tuesday. Even flights to Lagos and Port Harcourt have witnessed similar rush,” he said.
Mrs. Sandra Oge, Ticketing Supervisor, Azman Air Services, Abuja, the heavy traffic of passengers at the airport was highly gratifying.
“More Nigerians now value and appreciate air travel. Incidences of flight delays and cancellations have been low compared to previous years,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), has said that airport security and other logistics had been strengthened to contain the expected increase in passenger traffic during the holidays.
FAAN’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, in a statement maintained that the authority had also installed new directional display units to guide travelers, especially new ones, at its airports.
The general manager assured airport users that Nigeria’s airports were fully ready to play host to air travelers during and after the holiday period.