In a report by Business Day, many foreign airlines are now insisting that passengers in Nigeria purchase their tickets in dollars instead of Naira. BusinessDay findings show that these airlines now charge an average sum of $1,100 for a Lagos-US economy class return ticket.
The implication of this is that passengers who are unable to access forex at the official rate will be left with the option of paying for tickets in dollars using the elevated black market rates. Those unable to do so may have to fly local carriers to other countries.
Industry experts say the customers will have to bear the brunt, as airlines have increased fares to cushion declining sales and strains from the FX scarcity. As the dollar crunch bit harder, foreign airlines started by raising the naira cost of tickets.
British Airways, which had previously charged about N350k or less, for an economy class return ticket from Nigeria to London when the exchange rate was N150 to a dollar, progressed to charging N835k. Virgin Atlantic, which previously charged below N300k for a Lagos – London economy class return ticket, moved to charging N802k while local carrier, Arik Air, charged N400k for the same destination.
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic which had previously charged below N500k for premium class return tickets from Nigeria to London, went up to N940k, while Virgin Atlantic charged N903k…. in d name of God, disregard ds news if u av never being to an airport before, talk less of boarding a plane….