Foreign Airlines release low-inventory tickets following NCAA intervention

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Lufthansa German Airlines, KLM, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, British Airways, Royal Air Maroc, RwandAir, and Turkish Airlines have all issued all categories of low inventory tickets as a result of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority’s action.

This came after Nigerian officials instructed international airlines to unconditionally unblock all lower inventory tickets to the Nigerian market following a meeting between the parties.

However, Air France has failed to follow the directions, according to a statement signed by the NCAA’s Director General, Chris Najomo.

The NCAA’s involvement was intended to stem the country’s skyrocketing cost of aviation tickets and make travel more accessible for Nigerian citizens.

The NCAA DG has formed a 10-man committee to investigate the country’s high ticket prices following a two-day high-level discussion between the NCAA and international airlines in Nigeria on the urgent need to unblock all low inventory tickets that had previously been restricted for more than 18 months.

The 10-member committee, chaired by Director of Special Duties NCAA, Mr Horatius Egua, is tasked with ensuring that foreign airlines fully comply with the government’s directives to unblock all low inventory tickets and recommend appropriate ticket pricing in Nigeria in comparison to similar markets in the West African sub-region.

Mr. Michael Achimugu, Director Public Affairs and Consumer Protection NCAA; Mr. Rotimi Arogunjo, General Manager (GM) Licencing and Statistics NCAA; Mrs. Ogechi Louis-Azode, Deputy General Manager (DGM) Legal Services NCAA; Mrs. Susan Akporiaye, President National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA); Mrs. Olaoluwa Oladipupo, Assistant General Manager (AGM) Fairs and Tariffs NCAA; Mr. David-Ojuigo, Assistant Director FCCPC; Mr. Yinka

In recent months, Nigerians have been unfairly forced to pay higher fares on international flights as all foreign airlines increased their flight tickets astronomically, citing the high exchange rate and other issues, and also deliberately blocked low inventory tickets, making travel unbearable for Nigerians.

“This is very discriminatory in nature. We cannot continue to pay higher fares compared to other countries in the sub-region that have similar distances, using same operating aircraft. We have the market and in some cases we have more liberal taxes? This is unacceptable and we totally reject this,” Egua who represented Najomo at the meeting held between February 12 and 13, 2024, in Abuja, said.

“For instance, a distance of six hours from Ghana to London may sometimes cost about $800 while similar distance with similar operating aircraft cost over $2000 in Nigeria. This is discriminatory and an unfair practice and we reject this in totality,” he further stated.