Home News Fares Drive Nigerian Air Passengers To Ghana, Benin

Fares Drive Nigerian Air Passengers To Ghana, Benin

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Fares Drive Nigerian Air Passengers To Ghana, Benin

International air passengers are ignoring Nigerian airports for those in neighbouring countries to connect flights to foreign destinations due to exorbitant airfares charged by foreign airlines operating in the country.

The National President, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agents, Susan Akporiaye, said Nigerians were travelling across borders in droves to connect cheaper flights to various international destinations.

Blaming the development on the unjustifiable profiteering by foreign carriers, the NANTA boss disclosed that members of the body lost between $450m and $500m in revenue in one year as a result of the drop in ticket sales.

Airfares have risen by almost 400 per cent for all international destinations as foreign airlines operating in the country blocked all low ticket inventories on their websites and have since continued to sell the highest inventories, making it difficult for passengers to buy affordable tickets.

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In a bid to reduce the amount of money that would be trapped in Nigeria, the foreign airlines stopped travel agents in the country from issuing tickets emanating from other countries.

The closure of the lower inventories by the foreign airlines has made Nigerians pay as much as N3m for a one-way economy ticket and N1.8m to change travel dates.

According to NANTA, the lower inventories that are shut against Nigerians are opened in neighbouring countries like Benin Republic, Togo and Ghana, thereby, forcing Nigerians to seek cheaper flights in those countries.

Akporiaye said, “The trade rules are obnoxious, not consistent with global best practices and the fares are unjustifiably high, all in reaction to trapped funds. We at this stage have reasons to believe that there is more to it. The fares and practices are strangulating and our Nigerian regulations are not deployed. No power of authority in Nigeria is presently holding back the rampaging practices of airlines and we regret to say that NANTA members are not protected by the government and the Nigerian public.

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“The implication of Nigerians crossing the borders to join international flights is obvious. We lose business because the sales won’t be attributed to any travelling agency locally. The government will lose as well the five per cent it taxes on tickets. Definitely, the ripple effect of losses will be felt by the industry.”

Akporiaye, however, noted that the foreign airlines had not increased fares, but rather shut down the lower inventories against Nigerian travellers and travel agents.

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