Calabar Airport Departures Plunge 35.7% After Aero’s Exit
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Calabar Airport Departures Plunge 35.7% After Aero’s Exit

By Jonathan Ugbal

Weekly departures from the Margaret Ekpo International Airport in Calabar, Cross River State, have decreased by 35.7% since May 2023. This decline occurred after Aero Contractors stopped operating at the airport in April, data analyzed by CrossRiverWatch shows.

The number of departures has dropped from 28 when Aero initially stopped operations in the airport to 18 per week. While Aero operated the route, weekly departures peaked at 40.

This data was obtained from the published flight schedules of Air Peace and Ibom Air, the two airlines currently operating at the airport from the week starting July 3rd to the first week of August 2023.

The busiest route is Calabar – Abuja, with 11 (or 61.1 percent) departures per week, while Lagos has only seven.

The Routes, Airlines And Schedules

Air Peace now operates four times a week into Calabar, down from daily flights last year. The airline uses its Embraer EMB 145 regional jets on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

It departs from Lagos at 13:05 and arrives in Calabar at 14:10 as Flight P4-7180. The crew then depart for Abuja at 14:40 and arrive at 15:40 as Flight P4-7181. The return flight from Abuja departs at 16:10 and arrives in Calabar at 17:10 as Flight P4-7182. The final leg of the journey departs from Calabar at 17:40 and arrives in Lagos at 18:40 as Flight P4-7183.

The above means Air Peace is responsible for only eight scheduled departures per week or 44.4 percent.

Ibom Air operates daily return flights to Calabar from Abuja using Bombardier CRJ-900 series regional jets. The first flight of each day is from Calabar to Abuja, departing at 12:00 and arriving at 13:00. The return flight from Abuja to Calabar departs at 13:40 and arrives at 14:40.

The flights are operated as Flight QI0500 on Mondays to Fridays and as Flight QI0502 on Saturdays and Sundays from Calabar to Abuja.

On the return from Abuja to Calabar, the flight numbers are Flight QI0501 on Mondays to Fridays. While on Saturdays and Sundays, it is operated as Flight QI0503.

On the Lagos route, Ibom Air only operates on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays when Air Peace is not operating. Flight QIO400 departs Lagos at 15:00 and arrives in Calabar at 16:15 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Saturdays, Flight QI0402 departs at 16:45 to arrive at 17:45.

The return flight to Lagos departs at 17:00 to arrive at 18:15 on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is operated as Flight QI0401. On Saturdays, Flight QI0403 departs at 18:30 to arrive at 19:40.

This means Ibom Air is responsible for 10 departures out of the airport on a weekly basis or 55.56 percent of the 18 total departures.

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