US Dollar shortage: Foreign airlines halt tickets sale to Nigeria-bound travellers

As the US dollar shortage in the Nigerian economy continues to hit the air travel industry harder, foreign airlines flying into the country have stopped local travel agencies and firms from selling tickets to intending inbound Nigeria passengers.

According to reports, the carriers also barred Nigerian travel agencies from selling tickets to intending passengers whose travel itineraries neither originate nor terminate in Nigeria. This is known in air travel parlance as ‘SOTO ticket’, meaning Sold-Out, Ticketed-Out.

The move is currently affecting many Nigerian students abroad who are seeking to buy tickets from Nigerian travel agents to come home for the Yuletide.

Presently, majority of them are being forced to consider buying their tickets from travel agencies based overseas.

The latest move by the international carriers follows their inability to repatriate their ticket sale proceeds, running into several billions of naira, in the last one year.

As of October, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which is the global trade body for international airlines, said foreign carriers operating in Nigeria had been unable to repatriate about $207m in ticket sale proceeds to their various head offices abroad.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), is rationing the sale of dollar to international airlines and other sectors of the economy as the country battles to meet dollar demands.

However, economic and financial experts have queried the rationale for the CBN’s rationing of the greenback when the nation’s external reserves are still above $40bn.

The lingering shortage of forex in Nigeria had forced the naira to crash against the United States dollar on the IATA platform last month.

As a result, airfares on Nigeria routes that are priced in naira had increased considerably.

The development came amid struggles by foreign airlines to access forex from the CBN to repatriate ticket sale proceeds running to over $208m.

Investigations have revealed that the naira had fallen against the dollar last month on the IATA ticket pricing template from 415/dollar to 444/dollar, forcing travel companies to sell tickets at higher prices.

Related news

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.