Aviation minister to tackle ticket price disparity
The Nigerian minister of aviation Stella Oduah announced that she is taking measures to curb regional ticket price disparity:
There are things we need to do as well to ensure that doesn’t happen; that includes the penalty that we’re going to impose on any airline that gets involved in regional imbalance, and also to know the factors that encourages that – one of which is supposedly the aviation fuel, which we will tackle. We will hedge it against international rate, so we’re using that as a benchmark price. In summary, regional price imbalance is an illegal act; its offensive and we will not encourage it. We will fight any airline that participates in that. It’s one of the major reasons that we will make sure that our airports are functional and passengers are encouraged to use our airlines and aircraft operators.
Media and public in Nigeria have repeatedly complained about the high international air fares from/to Nigeria.
In the interview the minister also commented on the new national airline that should be launched this year:
We need a national carrier that will represent who we are, that will portray us in the bright light. It will be owned by Nigerians and managed by Nigerians for Nigerians, on a commercial basis – no government involvement at all, and many companies and individuals have indicated interest in this venture.
The Federal Government has given British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and other international airlines operating into Nigeria thirty days to end ‘fare disparity’, where Nigerians pay higher for international flights than their West African counterparts. Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, said airlines that fail to abide by the ultimatum, which starts today March 26, would be banned from operating in Nigeria.