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3m aviation jobs under threat as foreign airlines one-way ticket hits N1.5m – NANTA

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Abiola Seun The National Association of Nigerian Travel Agency (NANTA), on Thursday, raised the alarm that over 3million jobs are under threat in the Aviation industry over skyrocketing foreign airlines ticket.In a chat with newsmen in Lagos, the President of the association, Susan Akporiaye, said foreign airline one-way ticket have risen from N300,000 to N1.5million, thereby, reducing foreign travels.According to the association, if the high price continues, foreign airlines trapped fund will hit $1bn, travel agencies and the airlines will downsize their staff and tourism will be affected.She said, “As we speak, a lot of our members are out of business and doing something else. They are, as well, shutting down their businesses. I know the Aviation Minister has done so well for the industry by giving bailout during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, he should call all stakeholders’ to the table to discuss this issues because the foreign airlines are ready to talk, they are ready to adjust but the government should talk to us. “We should sit down, talk and negotiate. They should tell us what the problems are. The foreign airlines are willing to hear us out and they are willing to let things go back to normal but the truth is that our offices are shutting down already.

” Our members have gone into farming. Our clients cannot pay N1.7m for one way and N1m to change their ticket. The government should call a round table and we shouldn’t be excluded we should be part of it.
“We will tell them the face of innocent Nigeria’s that are being exploited.Akporiaye, however, disclosed that despite the intervention of the government by releasing $265million trapped fund to the foreign airlines, the airlines ‘visited Nigerian travelling public with most exploitative response in the name of protecting their business.’“Just recently, the federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), released about $265million to service this trapped fund and to which International Air Transport Association (IATA), hailed Nigeria for taking strategic measures to end the problem, but sadly, that gesture instead of breathing a return to order, emboldened the foreign airlines to visit the Nigerian travelling public with most exploitative response in the name of protecting their business.”“As usual with them, their response which we could describe as ‘High Fare Pandemic’, is solely targeted at Nigeria and Nigerians, and cannot be seen anywhere in Africa even in countries where they also have their funds being trapped.“It is sad that Nigerians have to buy tickets to the tune of N3million to N4million and be charged as high as N1million to change travel dates even on tickets bought before this crisis began.
“This is unacceptable, exploitative, and hostile to the survival of Nigerian aviation downstream sector and to which we call for sanity and return to the best inventory practices and deployment.”Proffering solution to the crisis, the NANTA president, called on the government to engage the foreign airlines.“To our Government, we appreciate the response to the release of some funds, but we urge Government as a matter of urgency to open window of engagement by calling for a meeting with all parties involved to include CBN, minister of Aviation, Minister of Finance, Foreign Airlines, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), IATA and NANTA.“No doubt, our clients, Nigerians, are badly hit by this obnoxious response by the foreign Airlines, we wish to submit that despite the issues at stake, Nigeria remains a high net worth destination for the Airlines to do business.
” Our business is on the verge of total collapse and our staff, with families and at this trying times, may be forced into the streets.“We request that some of the foreign airlines pause and have a rethink on these unnecessary measures that we find exploitative; restore inventories across board and think of the good days when they flew in and out of Nigeria, enjoying the best patronage from us and Nigerian travelling public,” she said.

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