Foreign airlines reintroduce low air fares for Nigerians after FG’s intervention

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says foreign airlines have reopened their low-inventory tickets for Nigerians to access cheaper flights.

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Michael Achimugu, the authority’s director of public affairs and consumer protection, disclosed this in a post on X on Thursday.

He said the development followed recent meetings between the NCAA and aviation stakeholders, including the international airlines.

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In August 2022, (BA) had closed its inventory in Nigeria in the global distribution system (GDS), over the foreign airlines’ trapped funds controversy.

The move had prevented local travel companies from issuing tickets at relatively lower rates to travellers.

On January 30, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it had concluded the payment of all verified foreign exchange (FX) claims by airlines, releasing an additional $64.44 million to the concerned foreign aviation firms.

Providing updates on recent engagement with stakeholders, Achimugu said the inventory reopening would allow Nigerians to access lower ticket prices.

“I am proud to announce that, after the meetings with international airlines on the 12th and 13th of February, all of the airlines – bar one, have reopened their low-inventory tickets for Nigerians to access lower ticket prices for international flights,” he said.

“Recall that most of these airlines had closed the low tickets to Nigerians for about a year, subjecting our citizens to only the highest possible airfares. But the swift intervention of Capt. Chris Najomo, DGCA, has eased the situation. More wins to come.”

On February 12, Chris Najomo, the acting director-general of the NCAA, expressed concern over the high cost of airfares, especially on international routes.

Najomo said the authority would set up a committee to review the situation and bring down the airfares.

“It has come to the notice of this authority about the increase and high cost of airfares, especially on international travels,” the director-general said.

“And NCAA in a view of trying to make sure that these airfares are brought down, has decided to set up a high-powered committee which will look at all the variances and how we can bring these airfares down.

“We’ve met with the airlines and other stakeholders and other agencies we will make sure that this is done.”

Some foreign aviation firms operating in Nigeria are Lufthansa German Airlines, KLM, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, British Airways, Royal Air Maroc, RwandAir, and Turkish Airlines.

 

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