- NANTA members advised to desist selling tickets beyond December
IT would seem that British Airways plans to suspend operations to Nigeria from December 2022 if payment of its trapped funds in the country isn’t made.
This is just as the airline has closed inventory this morning, a closure, they allege, necessary to mitigate further increase of thier trapped funds and would be issuing tickets online only and in US Dollars.
In a communication intercepted by NIGERIANFLIGHTDECK, the National Executive Council of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agents ( NANTA) advised it’s members not to issue or pay for tickets beyond December following the new development and deadline issued to Nigeria government.
The communication read,” The National Executive Council of NANTA just concluded a business meeting with British Airways and British Airways conveys assurance that it remains committed to servicing the needs of travel agencies in Nigeria.
“As members may be aware that British Airways closed inventory this morning, please be informed that, this inventory closure is a necessary action taken by British Airways to mitigate increase of thier trapped funds.
“However, British Airways provides reassurance that it is still flying in and out of Nigeria and is currently seeking earnest solutions to adress the demands of its customers.
A follow-up message however updated on the current scenario stating:
“The above message is the new development with regards to British airways. Tickets will be issued in USD henceforth and only online.
“They have also given the Nigerian government a deadline in December. By which time if payment isn’t made, they will stop all flights into and out of Nigeria.
“Please do not pay for or issue tickets beyond December. We will update you as soon as we receive any new developments.
The issue of trapped funds is currently affecting operations into Nigeria as Emirates which has been unable to repatriate it’s US$85million and plans to suspend operations to the Wear African country in September.
Currently, Nigeria owes foreign airlines US$464million as noted by the International Air Transport Association ( IATA) which according to many professionals and travel experts will affect air travel into the nations as there is no carrier in the country strong enough to balance trade.
President Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI) Dr Gabriel Olowo yesterday at the Breakfast Business Meeting noted that foreign airlines’ notices of schedule reductions and flight suspension coupled with rejection of the Naira as form of payment will continue as long as the negative balance of trade against Nigeria in the sector remain unaddressed.
He stressed that due to the absence of strong Nigeria Airline players, tilted Bilateral Air Services Agreements ( BASA) and prodigal approval of multiple entry points through the gateways which totally nullifies development of regional hubs.