• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Air ticket sales dropped by 40% in Q4, 2023 over high fares, trapped funds – NANTA

NCAA suspends 3 private jet operators over commercial flights

The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) has disclosed that for last quarter of the year 2023, ticket sales reduced by 40 percent when compared to same period in 2022.

According to Susan Akporiaye, the trapped funds issue, the rate of exchange and its scarcity and restrictions of the lower inventories to the travel agencies from Nigeria by airlines were factors that led to the drop in ticket sales for last quarter of 2023.

“It was difficult for us to be able to get foreign exchange. The restrictions put by the airlines because of foreign exchange availability led to the drop in sales from Nigeria. Our members had to put up survival mechanism.

Read also: Air Peace’s maiden London flight fully booked amid scarce cheap tickets

“Majority of the tickets we sold were out of Nigeria. Those sales were not attributed to the Nigerian market. If we are going to access the Ghana market or any West African country market, they would see an unusual growth, while it is a downward trend for the Nigerian market. This is because the airlines closed the lower inventories while the same lower inventories were open in other markets.

“So, what we did as travel agencies was to move our sales to other markets. Interestingly, the travel is still from Nigeria. Passengers still travel from Lagos to London but the tickets were bought in Ghana. So, the revenue is going to be attributed to Ghana and not to us,” Akporiaye explained.

She noted that for passengers traffic in terms of travel; the percentage at which it reduced was very small but reduction in sales was 40 percent.

Speaking at the pre-48th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of NANTA in Lagos on Tuesday, which is scheduled to hold between April 23 through 27, 2024 in Lagos with the theme: ‘Unlocking Africa’s Economic Potential: Travel and Tourism as catalyst for intra Africa Business Investment and Trade,’ Akporiaye said that the last four years of her leadership as NANTA President had been challenging, especially with trapped funds of foreign airlines in the country, restrictions of the lower inventories to the travel agencies from Nigeria by airlines and the unstable foreign exchange, which stopped some passengers from flying through the nation’s airports.

On the recognised NANTA members by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Akporiaye gave the figures as about 1,500 and 2000, respectively.

She emphasised that when she assumed office about four years ago, NCAA had only 300 travel agencies in its book, but said enhanced relationship, unification and advocacy increased the number to the present figure.

Besides, she stressed that NANTA was working with NCAA to fish out quacks in the profession, noting that to be recognised as a travel agency, such an organisation must have NCAA certification, recommended by at least one financial member of NANTA and must be recognised by the association.

Read also: How foreign airlines hide under low inventory tickets to exploit Nigerians

She was however quick to say that “there are quacks in every profession.”

On the forthcoming AGM, Akporiaye stated that Mr. Humphery Geiseb, the High Commissioner, Namibia to Nigeria would be the keynote speaker and special guest.

Geiseb would speak on ‘Destination Africa: Exploring Technology and Innovation Driven Tourism, A Call to Action for Professionals in Travel and Tourism.’

Also, Festus Keyamo and Lola Ace-John, the Ministers of Aviation and Aerospace Development and Tourism, respectively are some of the special guests of the day and would deliver goodwill messages at the AGM.

Besides, Allen Oyeama, Chairman of Air Peace would speak on collaborative strategies for aviation stakeholders and professionals within ‘SAATM Policy and Economic Framework,’ while Mr. Ikechi Uko, founder of Akwaaba Travel Market, would speak on identifying business, trade, and investment prospects in emerging Africa travel and tourism markets.

She further explained that NANTA would unveil an Intra Africa Tourism Trade Exhibition, which it considered as an ambitious and legacy project that the association could sustainably grow as a window to connect Africa and Nigeria with the world.