The House of Representatives has mandated its committee on aviation to investigate the hike in international flight fares and poor service delivery by foreign airlines operating in Nigeria.
The House resolution followed the adoption of a motion, titled “Need to Curtail Exorbitant Airfares by International Airlines in Nigeria” moved by Moshood Olarewaju Oshun.
Moving the motion, Oshun noted that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, reported that as of 2022, sixteen international airlines were operating in Nigeria.
He also noted that in 2023, international passengers’ traffic had grown massively from the 3,503,692 that was recorded in 2022, and had continued to grow rapidly, especially with outbound international travellers.
According to him, the international airlines are taking undue advantage of the surge in international passengers’ traffic to charge exorbitantly for flights and cashing out on Nigeria.
The lawmaker further explained that compared to other West African countries, such as Ghana, Benin Republic, and Niger Republic, the rates set by international airlines operating in Nigeria were outrageous, despite poor service delivery and use of old aircraft by the airlines, against what was obtainable in other countries.
He said Turkish Airlines charges as much as $3,538 (N2.7million), with the lowest advertised fare being $1,432 (N1.1 million) for a Lagos-London flight, whereas the same airline charges between $475 (N368,837) and $601 (N466,676) for a London-bound flight from Cotonou, which is a huge and unfair contrast to what people were forced to pay in Nigeria.
He expressed worry that other international airlines operating in Nigeria were guilty of this unfair hike in flight fares for inbound and outbound international flights, which puts Nigeria at a disadvantage economically.
He said if strict measures were not put in place to stop the flagrant hike in flight fares by international airlines, Nigerians might no longer be able to afford international travel and even the nation’s economy would be negatively affected by such unwholesome practices.