The APG Interline Electronic Ticketing Agreements (IET) on Thursday, recalled and canceled the notice it made to its trade partners including travel agencies to issue air tickets in the United States dollars.
Since Thursday, tremendous pressure had been brought to bear on APF IET and its affiliate airlines and some travel agencies to rescind the decision, which could put the Federal Government, travel agencies on a collision course. A source close to some travel agents said the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele, was livid over APG’s letters announcing that air tickets would be sold in dollars, starting from April 19, 2022, describing the planned action as illegal.
President, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Mrs. Susan Akporiaye, said the travel agencies were never part of APG’s affiliates that planned to sell tickets in dollars in Nigeria. According to her, airlines are squeezed because their funds are stuck in Nigeria but what the airlines have done to cushion the effect of their stuck funds is those travel agencies in Nigeria are stopped from issuing tickets not originating from Nigeria. “This is not good for us because it is reducing our sales and the opportunity for us to service our clients properly,” the NANTA president explained. She assured that the airlines know that the law of Nigeria does not support airlines selling tickets in non-Nigerian currencies.
She called on the Central Bank of Nigeria to intervene in helping release the stuck funds for airlines and making dollars available. “Airlines have removed lower inventory from their system because they have to source for these funds in the primary market and it is very expensive.
The rate we sell in the system is not the same rate airlines get the dollars in the primary market. “So, for the airlines to break even, they stopped selling their lower inventories. The fares have not gone up but it is just that the airlines are not selling their lower inventories.
“The ones being sold are the higher inventories. We sell at N444 per dollaron the system but the airlines are sourcing for dollars at N590 per dollar,” Akporiaye explained. The earlier notice it was learnt led to outrage by travelers and the Nigerian authorities and one that puts enormous pressure on APG and its allies to rescind the decision to sell tickets in Nigeria’s foreign currency.
A fresh notice to its trade partners read in part: “This serves to recall and cancel the notice we sent out yesterday, April 13, 2022. Kindly disregard the said notice. Sales will be continued in the Nigerian naira. We regret any confusion the earlier notice may have caused” Aviation Metric had exclusively reported yesterday that with effect from April 19, 2022, airlines on APG Interline Electronic Ticketing Agreements (IET) GP code 275 would start accepting issuing of tickets in United States dollars and not naira.