Turkish Airlines, Rwanda Air, others begin tickets sale in Dollar over $283m trapped fund

Turkish Airlines, Rwanda Air, others begin tickets sale in Dollar over $283m trapped fund

Abiola Seun

Amidst the worsening shortage of foreign exchange in the country, some of the foreign airlines flying directly into Nigeria will from, Tuesday 19th April, 2022, begin the sale of their tickets in dollar.

This is coming against the backdrop of foreign carriers’ unremitted ticket sale proceeds in Nigeria reportedly hit $283m (about N116.87bn).

It was gathered that international airlines on APG Interline Electronic Ticketing Agreements GP code 275 would start issuing tickets in dollars, effective April 19, 2022.

APG is 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.

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.

However, notable carriers 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.

Others are Air Panama, Air Burkina, Avianca, Bangkok Airways, Cabo Verde Airlines, Fiji Airways, Hong Kong Airlines, and Malaysian Air amongst others.

According to the group, the development follows the difficulty in repatriating airlines’ funds stuck in Nigeria and other countries, coupled with foreign exchange fluctuations.

In a travel advisory to its trade 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.”

Recall that the mInister of Aviation, Sen Hadi Sirika, at the commissioning of the new terminal at the Lagos international Airport, asked the 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.”

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