Dollar scarcity: Foreign airlines slash ticket sales on Nigeria routes

Dollar scarcity: Foreign airlines slash ticket sales on Nigeria routes

…unable to repatriate over $144m revenue as CBN rations forex

As the naira crisis continues to worsen, foreign carriers operating in Nigeria have begun moves to reduce the total number of tickets they sell on Nigerian routes amid worsening dollar scarcity that has made it difficult for them to repatriate billions of naira in ticket sale proceeds to their head offices abroad.

The development will lead to a significant reduction in the about N1tn total ticket sales over 25 foreign carriers make on Nigerian routes.

This is happening as the International Air Transport Association–the global body for international carriers–said foreign airlines operating in Nigeria had been unable to repatriate about $144m (N60bn) in ticket sales back to their home countries, calling on the Federal Government to make forex available to the carriers to do so.

Already, United Kingdom mega carrier, British Airways, which make billions of naira in ticket sales from Nigerians annually, has issued a notice to travel agents informing them that it would be restricting ticket inventory in Nigeria due to exchange problems in the country.

The BA’s notice to travel agents, which was obtained exclusively by Sunday PUNCH , was titled, “BA notification to control inventory due to unstable exchange rate.”

The notice read, “I wish to inform you of British Airways intention to control their Global Distribution System inventory by removing all the lower classes from the GDS, leaving only the below classes to be sold and issued and we all know the cost implications to this: Economy Y, Premium Economy W; Business Class J; First Class F. This became necessary due to fluctuating and unstable exchange rate in Nigeria. I hereby implore you all to pay for and issue all pending BA bookings with you before this takes effect”

Travel agents who spoke to Sunday PUNCH said the notice, which came about a week ago, might take effect anytime soon according to BA officials in Nigeria.

The development means over 65 per cent of the total number of categories of Economy Class, Business Class and First Class tickets available for sale will be removed by BA as soon as the notice takes effect.

“We are really surprised by this move. BA is doing what some other airlines have done tactically. BA officials told us they can’t repatriate their ticket sales and this is affecting their operations. As it is now, they want to reduce the total number of tickets they sell in […]

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