Connect with us

Business

Dollar Scarcity: Airlines Raise Fares by 100%

Published

on

Airlines in Nigeria

The lingering foreign exchange scarcity, which has made it difficult for foreign airlines to repatriate their ticket sales proceeds for several months, has forced the carriers to increase their fares by about 100 per cent, OLAWUNMI OJO writes

Foreign exchange risk is now a major component of airfares on Nigerian routes, the country managers of top foreign airlines have revealed.

Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the airlines operating on international routes in the country had increased airfares by as much as 100 per cent as a result of the development, Punch reported.

A survey of all the major Nigerian routes flown by the foreign airlines in the country showed that the cost of return tickets had been increased by between 80 per cent and 120 per cent of the previous fares, depending on the carrier, time of booking and the season.

The survey cuts across Nigeria-North America routes, Nigeria-South Africa route, and Nigeria-Europe routes. Airfares on the Lagos-London, Abuja-London, Lagos-New York, Lagos-Atlanta, Lagos-Houston, and Lagos-Johannesburg routes were examined.

Findings also showed that local airlines operating international flights, especially Arik Air and MedView Airlines, had increased their airfares.

For instance, airfares on the Lagos-London and Abuja-London routes now cost an average of N380,000 for the economy class seat, as against the average of N200,000 a year ago on the British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways. This represents an increase of 111 per cent.

Similarly, on Air France, an economic ticket on the Lagos/Abuja-London routes now goes for about N360,000, while Lufthansa German Airlines charges N380,000. These represent an increase of 80 per cent and 90 per cent, respectively, when compared with an average fare of N200,000 on the routes a year ago.

A Business Class ticket now goes for as high as N3m as against the N1.5m a year ago on the Lagos-London route.

On the Lagos-Atlanta and Lagos-Houston routes, Delta Airlines and United Airlines, which used to fly Economy Class passengers for between N270,000 and N330,000 some 12 months ago, now render the same service at an average fare of N600,000, depending on the time of booking. This represents an increase of about 100 per cent.

South Africa Airways and Arik Air, which used to fly the Lagos-Johannesburg routes for between N100,000 and N120,000 for the economy class, now fly the route for between N180,000 and N220,000, depending on the time of booking and the season.

The Lagos-Paris route, which used to go for N180,000 on the average, now goes for around N400,000. This represents an increase of 120 per cent.

Operators link the increment in fares to the scarcity of foreign exchange to attend to the operational needs of the carriers and the erosion in the value of the ticket sales proceeds, which are now stuck in banks due to lack of forex to repatriate the funds.

Late last year, the new administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had unveiled a fiscal policy, through the Central Bank of Nigeria, restricting access to foreign exchange and funds transfer out of the country.

While this has had advantages for some sectors of the economy, foreign airline operators have complained of their inability to repatriate revenue to their operational bases as a result of the new policy.

An official of one the airlines told our correspondent that the carrier had close to N90bn as accumulated earnings in banks, which it had been unable to repatriate.

He said that the airline industry relied heavily on cash to meet its commitments, adding that it was sad that the government was not seeing things this way.

With huge airline revenue in the vaults of the banks, some of the operators nursed fears of being exposed to risks should the pressure on the naira lead to the devaluation of the currency, which could erode the value of the funds by about 35 per cent to 45 per cent.

Following the difficulty in repatriating earnings from Nigeria, some of the airlines initially began restricting cheap fares on the Nigerian routes in the last quarter of last year, leading to an indirect hike in fares.

At the time, the effect was felt more on second tier routes from Lagos-London-Atlanta, Lagos-London-New York, Lagos-London-Miami, Lagos-London-São Paulo, Lagos-London-Houston; or Lagos-Frankfurt-New York, Lagos-Frankfurt-Chicago, Lagos-Frankfurt-Los Angeles, and Lagos-Frankfurt-Shanghai.

Citing Nigeria’s slowing economy amid forex scarcity, some international airlines are now contemplating reducing flights to the country or operating smaller capacity aircraft as a short-term measure.

However, following complaints by the airlines, representatives of the International Air Transport Association are said to have pleaded with the CBN Governor, Godwin Emiefele, to intervene in the matter and make dollars available to them.

But the move has yet to yield any positive results.

The foreign airlines also reportedly met with the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, and urged him to look into their case.

A spokesperson for one of the airlines noted that the difficulty in repatriating revenues was affecting aircraft leases and fuelling, stating that the earnings were partly being used for fuel and renewing aircraft leases.

While the situation persists, the effect on air travellers and other businesses that depend so much on air travel has been immense.

A manager with a transport and logistic firm, Mr. Emmanuel Iruobe , said the company had incurred more costs than were provided for in the execution of most contracts this year.

Iruobe urged the government to look into the situation with a view to resolving it in the interest of Nigerians.

On their part, stakeholders in the travel industry under the aegis of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies have faulted the astronomical cost of air tickets by the airlines, especially the foreign carriers.

Describing the situation where taxes that go to the airlines are higher than base fares as unacceptable, the group has petitioned the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Aviation, to caution the foreign airlines over the alleged sharp practices.

The Publicity Secretary, NANTA, Mrs. Ngozi Ngoka, opined that the cumulative effect of taxes and surcharges by airlines also generated a final price to the passenger that could be as much as double the advertised airfare for a short-haul flight.

Another stakeholder, who is the Chief Executive Officer, Gadshire Travels, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, berated the airlines, describing the excuse of forex scarcity and multiple taxes given to increase fares as untenable.

According to him, the arbitrary increment and gap between what is charged in Nigeria and other African countries on the same routes are due to the failure of regulatory authorities to perform their duties.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

Continue Reading
Comments

Business

FG Starts Registration, Categorization For Nigerian Fish Farmers

Published

on

fish

The Federal Government of Nigeria, in its bid to solve the food crisis in the country, has kick-started the registration and categorization of all fish farms across the country. This move is also aimed at fighting the country’s economic challenges and encouraging export, inspection, data collection and record-keeping.

Investors King gathered that the Federal Department of Fisheries & Aquaculture, alongside states of the federation will commence the operation in the coming weeks. 

This development was disclosed at the end of a capacity-building training for fisheries officers and stakeholders involved in fish farming, processing and export recently.

During the training which was organized by the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC), participants urged the Federal Department of Fishery to hasten the completion and perfection of the Aquaculture Residue Monitoring Plan for approval, in order to enable the export of farmed fish into the European Union and other countries.

In the same vein, the Norwegian Customs has said that Nigerians can now export fish to Norway without duties. However, the products must be of standard quality. 

“Exporters of Nigerian farmed fishes can only enjoy the zero duty rate the moment the ban on such fishes is lifted by the European Union”, the Customs said. 

Meanwhile, the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN) has expressed concerns over the absence of off-takers for fishery farmers in Nigeria. The bank said the situation is affecting the Bank’s ability to intervene in the aquaculture Anchor Borrowers’ initiative.

At the training, an official of the Development Finance Department, CBN, Mr. Samson Alatise said that the CBN is set to support the growth of the fishery sector in Nigeria “if there are the willing anchors that will take up the farmed fishes from the farmers.”

Alatise stated that there is a committee set up by the federal government to checkmate the activities of the sector in the absence of an undertaker. He also said that the “development is limiting the Bank’s participation in funding the aquaculture of ‘Cat’ and ‘Tilapia’ fishes. 

‘‘We are keen on funding aquaculture; the issue is that there is no viable anchor and this has limited the CBN’s participation in terms of growing the fishery sector.

“The CBN wants to see how it can be assisted to overcome the issue of non-availability of anchor,” Alatise added. 

Continue Reading

Company News

Walmart, Amazon, Apple, Others Top 2022 Fortune 500 List

Walmart took the top spot for the tenth year in a row, generating $5.1 trillion cumulative revenue over that time

Published

on

fortune 500

Fortune Magazine has released the 68th edition of their annual list of the top 500 US companies with Walmart, Amazon, and Apple topping the list.

Fortune 500 list is an annual list of the top 500 largest companies in the United States, ranked based on the total revenue each of the companies generated in their respective fiscal years. It is compiled by Fortune Magazine.

A check by Investors King shows 2022 top 500 largest companies in the United States earned a combined $16.1 trillion in revenue and realised $1.8 trillion in profits. Indicating that the 2021 revenue grew by $6.4 billion, or 19% when compared to 2021 numbers.

Breaking down this year’s list, Walmart took the top spot for the tenth year in a row, generating $5.1 trillion cumulative revenue over that time.  Amazon.com came second with a 22% increase in revenue in 2021 to cross the $450 billion threshold.

Apple, perhaps the most profitable company on the list for the eighth time in eight years, generated profits of $95 billion to sit in the number three position.

CVS Health and CEO Karen Lynch strive to produce Fortune 500 history as the highest-ranking firm ever led by a female CEO, at number 4.

UnitedHealth Group maintained its position as USA’s largest health insurance provider, with considerable growth in 2021. The corporation served 2.2 million more individuals this year than the previous year, and revenue increased by 12% to $287 billion, making it claim the 5th spot.

Exxon Mobil has risen from 10th to 6th place on the Fortune 500 after a difficult, pandemic-affected 2020. After COVID-related limitations drove energy consumption and oil and gas prices to plunge, Exxon Mobil trimmed costs to shore up its balance sheet, laying off 9,000 employees. These measures, combined with a resurgence in oil prices, let the business earn more than $23 billion in 2021, its highest annual profit in seven years.

Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway generated the second-largest profits among Fortune 500 firms last year, with $90 billion in net income. Its stock also soared, returning 23.2 percent in 2021, putting it in the 7th position.

Alphabet had a spectacular record, reaching $200 billion in sales for the first time. Alphabet was the best-performing Big Tech stock in 2021, with shares up nearly three times the Nasdaq’s 22 percent gain. It also put aside $50 billion for share repurchases and announced a 20-to-1 stock split to stimulate more investment. With steady growth in revenue and profit from 2006, Alphabet took the 8th spot.

Mckesson, one of the largest drug distributors in the country ranked 9th with a clear revenue of $238,228 million in the 2021 fiscal year despite a $4.5 billion loss.

Despite a fall in this year’s ranking, AmerisourceBergen increased its revenue by 12.7%, to $214 billion for the 2021 fiscal year. The company ranked 10th, following its counterpart, Mckesson.

2022 Top 10 Fortune 500 List

  • Walmart
  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • CVS Health
  • United Health Group
  • Exxon Mobil
  • Berkshire Hathaway
  • Alphabet
  • Mckesson
  • AmerisourceBergen

Continue Reading

Business

Kaduna Airport Finally Resumes Operation, Azman Air Becomes First Airline to Reopen 

Published

on

Kaduna International Airport

After it suspended all flight operations for almost two months, the Kaduna Airport has finally resumed its flight operations, starting with Azman Air. 

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) announced that the Kaduna airport has commenced full flight operations after it was shut down due to an attack by gunmen. 

The acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, confirmed to newsmen on Monday that “Flight operations to Kaduna airport have commenced today with Azman Air.”

Investors King gathered that Azman Air, via its official Twitter account, announced the resumption of flights to the Kaduna airport, making it the first airline to resume operations.

The tweet reads: “Azman Air landed at Kaduna Airport today 23rd May 2022, to the elation and cheers of passengers, stakeholders, and staff. 

“Azman Air is the first Airline to resume operations in the Kaduna Airport after it has been closed for almost two months. 

“It was a defining moment for the aviation community as the airport is reopened after being closed for two months. It’s so exciting to be back!”

The airport manager, Aminat Salami, said: “As you can see, I have all my management staff here. We have been closed from the 26th of March, close to two months and I’m very sure and you can see we are all excited and happy and I’m praying that Azman will continue their operations successfully and they should not be discouraged by the first flight because people are not really aware”. 

“We will try to do more of the video advert so that the passengers would improve as time goes on,” she added. 

Recall that in March, it was reported that gunmen attacked the airport and killed a security guard while the Kaduna-Abuja train was also attacked on the same day. 

The airline had stopped its flight operations into Kaduna following the attack at the airport eight weeks ago. 

The attack was however repelled by the airport security operatives.

 

Continue Reading




Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending