BEST NIGERIAN AIRPORTS: air waybillWhich are the best Nigerian airports for international shipping? Answering this question would require us to carefully consider four major factors necessary for a productive freight industry. This article for best Nigeria airports will discuss those factors. The factors are; cost, speed, reliability and international flight connections. To begin, we must first understand the nature of the airports in Nigeria. Are they domestic or international? Where are they located? And how efficient are they in dealing with freight operations?


BEST NIGERIAN AIRPORTS: Nigeria has five currently functional international airports:

  1. Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos
  2. Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano
  3. Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja
  4. Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu
  5. Port Harcourt International Airport, Port Harcourt

Domestic airports on the other hand are smaller with lesser traffic due to its limits to domestic travel and the absence of customs and immigration activities. Therefore, domestic airports do not receive any flights from foreign countries which means they also cannot send or receive international cargo.

Domestic airports available in Nigeria include:

  1. Asaba International Airport, Asaba, Delta State
  2. Sir. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Airport, Bauchi
  3. Benin Airport, Benin, Edo State
  4. Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar, Cross River State
  5. Ibadan Airport, Ibadan, Oyo State
  6. Yakubu Gowon Airport, Jos, Plateau State
  7. Maiduguri International Airport, Maiduguri, Borno State
  8. Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri, Imo State
  9. Akwa Ibom International Airport, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State
  10. Yola Airport, Yola, Adamawa State
  11. Akure Airport, Akure, Ondo State
  12. Kebbi International Airport, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State
  13. Dutse International Airport, Dutse, Jigawa State
  14. Jalingo Airport, Jalingo, Taraba State
  15. Katsina Airport, Katsina State
  16. Makurdi Airport, Makurdi, Benue State
  17. Minna Airport, Minna, Niger State
  18. Warri Airport, Warri, Delta State
  19. Zaria Airport, Zaria, Kaduna State
  20. Ilorin Airport, Ilorin, Kwara State
  21. Sultan Saddik Abubakar Airport, Sokoto, Sokoto State
  22. Gombe Lawanti International Airport, Gombe, Gombe State

Considering cost, speed, reliability and international flight connections, let us take a look at four of Nigeria’s international airports and try to analyze which one ranks as the best international airport for freight.

BEST NIGERIAN AIRPORTS: Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport

Named after Nigeria’s first President, the Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport is located in the city of Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory. For cargo destined for the northern part of Nigeria, this may be a very good option. The list of international flight destinations into Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport are: Paris, Accra, Lome, Niamey, London-Heathrow, New York-JFK, Cairo, Addis Ababa, Abidjan, Dakar, N’Djamena, Yaounde, Dubai, Jeddah, Kigali, Istanbul and Frankfurt.

Average air freight cost: N1, 250 per Kg

Minimum Weight: 30Kg


BEST NIGERIAN AIRPORTS: Murtala Muhammed International Airport

Currently serving an average of six million passengers annually, the Murtala Muhammed International airport located in Ikeja, Lagos, is the most used international airport in Nigeria. Flight destinations in operation are: Accra, Paris, Rome, Bamako, Banjul, Cotonou, Dakar, Freetown, Johannesburg, London-Heathrow, Luanda, Monrovia, New York-JFK, Ouagadougou, Bangui, Cotonou, Kinshasa, Lome, Libreville, Yaounde, Atlanta, Cairo, Dubai, Addis Ababa, Abu Dhabi, Madrid, Nairobi, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Beirut, Doha, Abidjan, Milan-Malpensa, Tambo, Douala, Casablanca, Amman, Kigali and Houston.

Average air freight cost: N925 per Kg

Minimum Weight: 20kg

BEST NIGERIAN AIRPORTS: Port Harcourt International Airport

This is the third busiest international airport in Nigeria. Flight destinations include: Accra, Paris, Malabo, Addis Ababa, Frankfurt and Istanbul

Average air freight cost: N1, 300 per Kg

Minimum Weight: 30Kg

BEST NIGERIAN AIRPORTS: Aminu Kano International Airport

Located in the North Western part of Nigeria, the Aminu Kano International airport is Nigeria’s oldest airport. Its current destinations include: Cairo, Beirut, Jeddah, N’Djamena, and Khartoum.

Average air freight cost: N1, 400 per Kg

Minimum Weight: 30Kg



Without a doubt the Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport comes first in terms of the cost of freight, the number of access destinations, the minimum cargo weight and also its popularity among freight companies. One must however consider the destination of the cargo in Nigeria before making any conclusions as to best Nigerian airports. It might not be particularly advisable to ship a Northern bound cargo to Lagos simply because of its relative convenience to other airports. Nigeria is a big nation with domestic logistic and transportation problems that need to be seriously considered and this often makes it very difficult to move cargo from different parts of the country. It is not uncommon news to hear that it is often much easier to move goods across the Atlantic than to move them within Nigeria.

While freight services may still be subject to some bureaucratic bottlenecks that are nearly unpredictable, one can conclude, after making the necessary considerations that the Lagos Murtala Muhammed Airport is the best airport for freight in Nigeria.

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