Some foreign airlines operating in Nigeria will begin the sale of tickets in US dollars starting from April 19, 2022.
The development comes as foreign carriers experience difficulty in repatriating ticket sales from the country. Unremitted ticket sales reportedly hit $283 million recently.
The development was announced by APG the world’s largest passenger and cargo general sales agent (GSA) and airline representation company with offices around the world, including Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
In an advisory to its travel partners, titled: “APG IET: Restrictions of Sales in US dollars,” APG 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 to you and your business. Thank you for understanding.”
The airlines to effect the new policy are those on APG Interline Electronic Ticketing (IET) GP code 275.
Notable airlines on the APG IET platforms include South African Airways, South African Airways, Fly Dubai, Kenya Airways, Middle East Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Rwanda Air, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines, French Bee, Egypt Air, ASKY, Air Seychelles, Air Algerie, and Air Namibia.
Other carriers that use the platform are Air Panama, Air Burkina, Avianca, Bangkok Airways, Cabo Verde Airlines, Fiji Airways, Hong Kong Airlines, and Malaysian Air amongst others.
Some of the carriers which fly directly into Nigeria are South Africa Airways, Turkish Airlines, Asky Airlines, Egypt Air, Royal Air Maroc, Middle East Airlines, Rwanda Air and Kenya Airways.
The Minister or aviation Hadi Sirika recently urged Federal Government to facilitate the repatriation of ticket sales proceeds trapped in Nigeria.
He said, “Aviation business suffers from issues of foreign exchange by local and foreign airlines and their inability to repatriate blocked funds. Nigeria currently holds $283mn worth of foreign airlines fund in the country. I humbly ask for the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria through the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari, to aid access of both local and foreign airlines to foreign exchange.”
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.