Why Foreign Airlines Charge High Fares in Nigeria

04 May 2012

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Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos

By Chinedu Eze

Poor monitoring of the activities of foreign airlines has been attributed to the major reason why they charge high fares in Nigeria and over the years they have exploited Nigerian travelers till recently the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah intervened.

Industry critic and director of research and strategy, Zenith Travels and Tours, Fidel Olu Ohunayo, said the high charges by foreign airlines should be appraised through the perspectives of regulation, administration and implementation.

Ohunayo acknowledged the high demand of international travel on foreign airlines due to the low capacity and poor management of indigenous carriers and advocated airline protection unit that would protect the interest of indigenous carriers.

“An Airline Protection Unit should be set up in the NCAA (the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority) to protect our carriers. They should participate in BASA Bilateral Air Service Agreement), slot and other competitive issues. The unit should liaise regularly with the recently established economic protection department of the CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria), to monitor revenue transfers by foreign carriers while ensuring strong competitive regulations.”

He said that an airline (like major foreign carriers) with significant market power and dominant position operating in a jurisdiction without standard competition law rules and a competition authority can in effect engage in any anti-competitive practice without fear, “sadly Nigeria is one of those jurisdictions.”

“We are giving ultimatums and running from one public hearing hall to another when the British anti-trust body called Office of the Fair Trade (OFT) has fined and collected the fines from BA (British Airways) and VAA (Virgin Atlantic Airways) for the same offence committed in Nigeria,” Ohunayo said.

Also a seasoned pilot and industry operator, Captain Ibrahim Mshelia, said that foreign airlines charge high fares in Nigeria because Nigerians seemed indifferent to the exploitation and therefore the airlines capitalized on the complacency and tendency to show off.

“We should not spend time debating BA fares that are high because over pricing of tickets reflects our attitudes. The difference in the fares between Nigeria and Ghana is really big because I checked it myself but the truth is that BA is charging us and we are not complaining,” Mshelia said.

He also added that it may mighty be advisable for Nigeria to force the airline to bring down fares, but frowned at those who allowed BASA signed since 1988 to have remained in force till date.

“BASA should be regularly reviewed to reflect current realities. We in the industry have failed government by not advising government appropriately,” he said.

Tags: Business, Nigeria, Featured, Airlines, Fares

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Comments (4)

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  • I will tell you what will happen if you do this. First, the major international airlines will largely withdraw service from Nigeria. And even if your national carriers CAN replace those other carriers on their routes, nobody will fly them because of the greatly sub-standard service you provide. Regulations such as those you propose seldom work for the better.

    From: Georges Fairmonte

    Posted: 3 years ago

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  • if you want the airlines to reduce fares then you have to also reduce their MUCH MORE higher costs of doing business in Nigeria

    From: manny

    Posted: 3 years ago

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  • Nigerian banks are riping people Nigerians off and you are talking about Foreign Airlines. What is our business with foreign Airlines, please sort your home front out first before you complain about others

    From: manny

    Posted: 3 years ago

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  • Qatar Airwairs collected $100 from me when I was travelling to Seoul, Korea, with a promise that this sum will be refunded to me upon my return. To me, I see no reason for collecting this fee. To worsen the matter, when I returned, it was a late flight, and they already closed office. I am not leaving in Lagos, not even in Nigeria. And uptil now, they have not paid back. When I made a telephone call, they told me I should write a letter and go to submit at their Victoria Island office. There are many cases of this nature, actually someone that returned with me on the same flight had the same experience. This is nonsense, and PURE exploitation, if not a well calculated con artistery. The Nigerian authorities should look into this and put a stop to it immediately.

    From: Okoro Oleh

    Posted: 3 years ago

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