Thursday, September 5, 2013
Nigeria Airways: Domestic Network, November 1981
The most obvious difference in juxtaposing the route map of Nigeria Airways in 1981 with Arik Air in 2012 is the centralization around hubs that has taken place in those decades. Here, the state carrier offered a diversity of linkages between major cities, with an array of flights connecting Kano, Jos, Enugu, Benin City and Kaduna. Even Yola and Markurdi have multiple options (although as with all route networks, the frequency of such flights is not clear).
Aside from the intricacy of this web, the complete absence of Abuja is obvious. Today, this myriad span of domestic flights has been rationalized around a two-hub system split between Lagos and Abuja. Although airlines worldwide have consolidated into hub-and-spoke systems, it is tempting to see this transition as an allegory for the fate of the federal state and Nigerian society in these ensuing years.
As noted previously, Kano's status as a northern hub and intercontinental gateway has been erased. Note that the Ibadan-Benin City-Calabar service was suspended at the time.
See the previous post for Nigeria Airways's international network from 1981.