Foreign airlines flying into Nigeria have stopped local travel agencies and firms from selling tickets to intending inbound Nigeria passengers following dollar shortage in the country’s economy.
Also, the carriers barred Nigerian travel agencies from selling tickets to intending passengers whose travel itineraries neither originate nor terminate in Nigeria.
This is known in air travel parlance as SOTO ticket, meaning Sold Out, Ticketed Out.
Currently, this move is affecting many Nigerian students abroad who are seeking to buy tickets from Nigerian travel agents to come home for the Yuletide.
Good number of them are now being forced to consider buying their tickets from travel agencies based overseas.
The latest move by the international carriers follows their inability to repatriate their ticket sale proceeds running into several billions of naira in the last one year.
It is understood that as of October, the International Air Transport Association (the global trade body for international airlines) said foreign carriers operating in Nigeria had been unable to repatriate about $207m in ticket sale proceeds to their various head offices abroad.
The Central Bank of Nigeria is rationing the sale of dollar to international airlines and other sectors of the economy as the country battles to meet dollar demands.
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