High Airfare to Abidjan Dampens Hopes for AFCON Final Spectators

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As anticipation mounts for the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) final showdown between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire in Ivory Coast, airfare to the West African nation has surged to exorbitant levels, frustrating the plans of many Nigerian football enthusiasts hoping to witness the historic match firsthand.

Despite the proximity of Abidjan to Lagos, with flight durations of less than one hour and 30 minutes, the exorbitant airfare has dashed the hopes of numerous Nigerians eager to witness the climactic clash between the two African football giants.

Several airlines, including Nigeria’s Air Peace, Asky, and Air Côte d’Ivoire, operate flights to Abidjan from the Murtala Muhammad International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos. However, ticket prices have skyrocketed, with one-way fares ranging from N890,000 to a staggering N1.2 million, while return tickets exceed the N2 million mark, depending on the airline and booking conditions.

The astronomical airfare has sparked widespread outrage, with many Nigerians expressing their disappointment and frustration on social media platforms. Professor Joy Ezeilo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and legal scholar, lamented the exorbitant cost of attending the AFCON final, highlighting the financial strain it imposes on individuals.

Ezeilo shared her dismay on Twitter, revealing that she had contemplated attending the match but was deterred by the staggering ticket prices, which amounted to over N2.1 million for a return trip.

In response to the soaring demand for flights to Abidjan, aviation management consultant Babatunde Adeniji attributed the escalating ticket prices to the fundamental principles of supply and demand. Adeniji explained that the heightened demand for seats, driven by the significance of the AFCON final, naturally leads to an increase in their value, resulting in inflated airfare prices.

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