Airfares to the UK, US, and other destinations experience a significant surge of 55%

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The decline of the naira against the United States dollar by 55% in the official foreign exchange market has resulted in a proportional decrease in international airfares on Nigerian routes, as reported by The PUNCH.

The naira plummeted from approximately 900/dollar to over 1,400/dollar after the FMDQ Exchange revised its rate calculation methodology, following accusations by the Central Bank of Nigeria against approved foreign exchange dealers.

Within 24 hours of the official exchange rate adjustment, international airlines operating in Nigeria adjusted their ticket pricing from around N900/dollar to N1,421/dollar, causing a corresponding 55% increase in international airfares.

This surge affected popular routes like Lagos-London, Lagos-New York, and Lagos-Johannesburg.

The President of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies, Susan Akporiaye, expressed concern, stating that the situation would exacerbate challenges for travel agencies.

Akporiaye emphasized the financial strain on travelers, highlighting instances where airfares rose from $1000 to N1.5 million.

She anticipated a potential decrease in prices, attributing the current situation to the country’s economic challenges.

Observing the convergence of black market and official forex rates, Akporiaye advised airlines to introduce lower inventory options, such as flights priced at N1 million, to accommodate financially burdened travelers.

She clarified that airlines were not responsible for setting exchange rates.

 

Price checks by The PUNCH revealed average airfare ticket costs to high-traffic international destinations, with London at N2.77 million, Dubai at N2.65 million, New York at N3.2667 million, and Johannesburg at N3.05 million.

Despite the challenges, there was no confirmed data indicating a decline in travel demands in Nigeria.

 

The International Air Transport Association reported a 38.7% increase in African airlines’ annual traffic in 2023 compared to the previous year, suggesting sustained demand despite the currency fluctuations.

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