The Managing Director/Chief Executive, Transcorp Hotels Plc, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo yesterday hinted that the recent closure of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja initially took a huge toll on the company’s revenue as its occupancy dropped drastically to 22 per cent from 60 per cent.
Speaking on Arise Television, the sister broadcast arm of THISDAY Newspapers, he described the initial effect of the closure on the company within the first few days as a “nightmare”.However, he noted that there has since been an uptick in occupancy rate, which peaked to about 55 percent as of Wednesday.He said the airport was shut during one of the company’s busiest calendar periods.
According to him, flights were canceled while companies which normally hold their annual general meetings at this time stayed away.Nevertheless, Ozigbo said a few variables have helped to improve the situation, as people adjusted to the closure of the airport.He said: “The past few days was almost like a nightmare. People just deserted Abuja. Hotel occupancy nosedived and none of the international airlines agreed to come to Kaduna.
“Events were canceled, shifted or even postponed. So, it’s been a nightmare. But in the last few days, we’ve seen that you can’t really stay away for so long out of Abuja. I mean that’s the heart of Nigeria and a lot of policies have impacted on the entire business climate.
“People looking to engage with politicians, the Senate is still in session, the National Assembly is still in session, the courts are sitting and thankfully, the president is back.“So, the buzz is beginning to come back and so people are bracing up. We’ve seen the occupancy trend up but things are never going to be the same.