How Nigeria Can Curb High Airfares On International Routes

International Airfares Soar By 55% Amid Naira Depreciation

2 months ago
1 min read

Amid a 55% depreciation of the Nigerian Naira against the US dollar, international airfares have skyrocketed, leaving travelers grappling with exorbitant costs for essential trips.

The abrupt shift in the official exchange rate, propelled by a recalibration by the FMDQ Exchange, has prompted international airlines operating in Nigeria to adjust their ticket pricing, causing a ripple effect on popular routes.

Susan Akporiaye, President of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies, voiced concern over the detrimental impact on the travel industry, emphasizing the burden on travelers engaged in serious pursuits such as medical treatment and education.

READ ALSO: Naira Depreciation: ‘CBN’s New Measure Will Ease Forex Pressure’

Akporiaye acknowledged the financial strain, citing instances where a $1000 air ticket surged to an astounding N1.5 million.

Despite the adversity, Akporiaye remains optimistic about a future decrease in prices, attributing the current situation to the broader economic challenges facing the nation.

In response to the escalating costs, she urged airlines to consider offering lower inventory options, providing relief to financially constrained travelers.

Price checks conducted by Prime Business Africa disclosed eye-watering averages for airfare tickets to high-traffic international destinations: London at N2.77 million, Dubai at N2.65 million, New York at N3.2667 million, and Johannesburg at N3.05 million. These exorbitant prices have prompted travelers to explore collateral options and appeal for flexibility.

While the naira’s free-fall began on June 14, 2023, following a decision to allow the currency to fluctuate freely, the exact impact on travel demands remains uncertain.

The International Air Transport Association reported a significant rise in African airlines’ annual traffic in 2023, indicating that, despite economic challenges, the appetite for travel has not waned.

As travelers grapple with inflated airfares, industry leaders advocate for proactive measures from airlines to ease the financial burden on passengers, urging a balance between economic realities and customer-centric approaches.

Emmanuel Ochayi

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