About 14 airlines have reportedly withdrawn their services from the country due to low patronage on account of the economic recession.
The airlines, including Iberia, United Airlines and Air Gambia, are among the 50 that operated the Nigerian routes some months ago.
Besides, foreign airlines operating in the country are estimated to have lost about N64 billion in the wake of the new foreign exchange (forex) policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
President of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Bankole Bernard, said that the new forex policy and economic crunch came with enormous negative effect on travel agencies, the reason for which they exited the country.
Bernard had, at the Aviation Round Table (ART) breakfast meeting held in Lagos recently, said that travel agencies that sold about $1.4 billion worth of air tickets in 2015 were beginning to record losses with the departure of the airlines, adding that there was fear that more airlines might quit flying the Nigerian routes.
Apparently frustrated by the low patronage, he said that some of his members were beginning to consider relocating to Ghana, where “their policies are consistent.”
Bernard said that the alleged inconsistent policy of the current administration, particularly on the naira devaluation, accounted for the current “nightmarish” experience the airlines are facing.
The loss of N64b by the foreign airlines was on account of repatriating $800 million stuck in the economy in the last one year, but released after the recent devaluation of the naira.