Nigerian market posed for strong business aviation growth

The Nigerian Commercial aviation industry has contributed about $0.7 billion (N137.9 billion) to the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product (GDP), industry data revealed on Tuesday.The industry’s projected investment of $12 billion in the short and medium term should lead to passengers’ growth to between 12 and 25 million by 2018, according to analysts.

Nigeria’s passenger traffic for inbound and outbound destinations soared to 21 million in 2014, surpassing the 2013 record by over 20 percent. There has been tremendous economic growth in Nigeria and with the increase in wealth and the expansion of trade and business opportunities, the demand for business travel has also expanded, says Melanie Humphries, head of aviation finance for Africa at Investec. As a bank of African origin, Investec is recognised as a leading aviation financier both on the continent and globally.

The primary reason is that business aircraft are a necessary tool for many high net worth individuals and corporates that do business in and around Africa, Humphries added. According to her, poor regional connectivity and limited infrastructure means that air travel is still the preferred mode of transport for passengers and cargo presenting an opportunity for the aviation industry in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. She said, in fact, business jets in Africa, and the access, predictability and passenger safety they provide, are playing a critical role in realising the continent’s growth potential. The African business aviation market has been resilient through the global financial crisis and new aircraft sales fared better than developed markets such as Europe and North America.

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