Airlines raise fares by 100%

Airline ticket rates have more than doubled in a week.

The spike, which operators blamed on an exchange rate that hit N500 to $1 at the black market last week, has seen an average one-hour economy class seat of N33,000 rise to N75,000 over the counter of some airlines.

Its average return trip variant also climbed to N121,000 from about N60,000 a week ago.

Stakeholders are unanimous it was one of the highest price leaps in years, warning that the last has not been seen since airlines only deployed the spike to cover basic costs, and not to make profit.

Similarly, foreign airlines have also been caught in the forex tangle, as over $200 million of accumulated ticket fares sold in the last couple of weeks have lately been stuck in Nigeria due to constraints at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Aviation stakeholders, however, said unless the Federal Government bailed out the local industry and avail a special forex window for local and foreign operators, airfares might continue to spike and become unbearable for the travelling public in the festive season. In the interim, they have advised travellers to make their travel bookings ahead of time to get fairer deal.

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