Foreign Airlines in Nigeria demand flight ticket sales in Dollar, reject Naira

    Following the foreign exchange crisis currently facing Nigeria, foreign airlines like the British Airways and Turkish Airlines have said they will no longer issue tickets to passengers in naira but in Dollar.

    The development is happening a few hours after Emirates Airlines announced suspension of flights to and from Nigeria beginning September 1.

    Turkish Air said, “Dear Business Partner, Kindly be informed that as of today, only C and Y fare classes will be available on GDSs for sale in Nigeria, Unused tickets will be upgraded to Y and C class for voluntary reissue cases, fare and tax difference shall be collected for inbound or outbound travel.

    “Multi city routes will not be combined with fares. All fare classes will be available for sale on the Turkish Airline website and mobile app.”

    British Airways economy tickets to London cost $466, premium economy $1,823 and Business $3,269.

    The decision is linked to the foreign exchange belonging to foreign airlines which has been blocked by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

    The International Air Transport Association (AITA) had estimated the amount at $450m of funds belonging to foreign airlines trapped by the CBN.

    Emirates said in July that they are owed $85m of non-repatriated funds by CBN, which they had reported to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

    Four months ago, APG Interline E-Ticketing (IEG) via its travel advisory issued to its trade partners said members would commence sale of tickets in dollars.

    APG IET members that use Nigerian routes are Middle East Airlines, Turkish Airlines, South Africa Airways, Egypt Air, Asky Airlines, Kenya Airways, Royal Air Maroc and Rwandair.

    APG IET had said, “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 the 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.”