• Chidozie Uzoezie

Foreign Airlines to Start Selling Tickets to Nigerians in Dollars

It appears that air travel is about to get even more expensive for Nigerians as

some foreign airlines operating into Nigeria will soon start selling flight tickets to Nigerian passengers in US Dollars with effect from 19 April, 2022.

This was disclosed by APG Interline E-Ticketing (IET) via a travel advisory issued to its trade partners in Nigeria, citing difficulty in repatriating airlines’ funds stuck in Nigeria and foreign exchange inconsistencies as the reasons.

Airlines on the APG IET platform that fly into Nigeria include Turkish Airlines, South Africa Airways, ASKY Airlines, Egypt Air, Royal Air Maroc, Middle East Airlines, Rwanda Air and Kenya Airways.

In a letter to its trade partners, APG IET stated, “Dear travel partners, warm greetings from APG. This is to bring to your notice that with effect from April 19, 2022, GP would only accept issuing of tickets in US dollars and not Naira. This is mainly due to repatriation issues and Forex situation in the country.

“This would most likely be a temporary measure till the Forex situation improves. Our sincere apologies for any inconveniences this may cause you and your business. Thank you for understanding.”

If APG IET goes ahead to implement this, Nigerian travellers will be in for challenging times as they'll find it very difficult sourcing foreign exchange from the banks. This will leave them with no options than to resort to the black market for foreign exchange. In turn, this will lead to further depreciation of the Naira against Dollar as well as further hikes in airfares.

It'll be recalled that the issues of foreign exchange and the inability of foreign airlines to repatriate their funds were the reasons why some airlines temporarily suspended flights to Nigeria a few years ago, while a few of them stopped flying to Nigeria.

According to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, Nigeria currently holds $283 million worth of foreign airlines fund in the country. He disclosed this during the commissioning of the new international terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos in March.

With over 100 offices covering over 170 countries, APG is the world's largest and most successful airline distribution network and general sales agent (GSA). It partners and represents over 200 airlines from all continents of the world.

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