Starting from the 19th of April, Nigerians looking to travel out of the country will buy their tickets in dollars from Foreign Airlines. The development is coming amid the worsening shortage of foreign exchange in the country.
It was earlier reported how multinational companies operating in Nigeria have been facing difficulties repatriating their dollar profits.
In fact, at the commissioning of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) new terminal, Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, had revealed that foreign airlines’ trapped fund in Nigeria was about N117 billion ($283million). To checkmate the trapped funds on Wednesday the international airlines on APG Interline Electronic Ticketing Agreements GP code 275 announced plans to start issuing tickets in dollars, effective April 19, 2022.
The Group said;
“We are making these changes due to 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 you and your business. Thank you for understanding”.
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.
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.
If the airlines follow forward with their intentions, the black market exchange rate of the dollar would finally cross N600, as desperate Nigerians traveling out of the country will have to source dollars from the black market.