- Ticket Sales: Foreign Airlines Generate $700m In 8-Month
The latest data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has shown that foreign airlines operating in Nigeria, sold tickets worth $700 million within 8 months (January – August 2019).
The amount indicated a significant increase when compared to the $800 million recorded in the entire 2018.
Meanwhile, IATA has projected $1 billion foreign airlines’ ticket sales for 2019, which travel experts think the country will even exceed because of the forthcoming yuletide season.
Reacting to IATA’s prediction, the President of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Mr. Bankole Bernard expressed positiveness that the country might surpass the projected $1 billion by the end of the year due to the Christmas season, which records influx of inbound passenger movement, as many Nigerians return to the country for celebration.
He added that “the market has stabilised. There is upward trend and more foreign airlines have shown interest in Nigeria. This confirms that the industry is doing well under the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika. I am seeing significant changes. There are a lot of changes taking place under the minister.”
Bankole admitted to the fact that Nigeria’s economy is still striving but expressed assurance that more Nigerians would be travelling overseas as the economy improved, which will result in more ticket sales by the airlines.
According to him, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) was pleased with the Nigerian aviation sector because of the positive air safety recorded, more reason foreign airlines are interested in Nigeria, he noted.
“For us in the downstream sub-sector of the industry, there has been no default in payment of ticket revenues to the airlines like in the past. IATA acknowledged this and that is why it introduced IATA Easy Pay in Nigeria first before many other countries in the continent.
Bernard who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Finchglow Travels added that “Kenya, which hitherto had bigger travel agencies, came to understudy us. If we are not doing something good, they would not have come to understudy us and this shows that we are doing better than Kenya now.”
Recently, the Minister of Aviation received a ‘Certificate of Improved Security’ in Civil Aviation from the ICAO after the country’s aviation security system was assessed.
Sirika announced that the nation’s aviation sector scored 96.4 percent in improved security.
“ICAO, having the statutory responsibilities of monitoring, policing and regulating the aviation industry and setting standards, took a survey of 193 member-countries out of which 16 were found to have improved tremendously the security around their aviation system.
“Gladly, Nigeria was one of those 16 member-countries. Our score from the audit of ICAO was 96.4 percent; this is a remarkable improvement from a country that was scoring less than 50 percent in the past.
“In recognition of this, Nigeria received a certificate in Montreal, Canada during the General Assembly of ICAO, and we are proud to announce that we are part of those 16 member-countries that received this certificate.”