The oldest Airline with links to Nigeria, British Airways (BA), is on the verge of suspending fight operations in Nigeria following difficulty to repatriate trapped funds in Nigeria.
This development came to light after a crucial business meeting with the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) where the airline disclosed that it is closing inventory on its Nigeria business, meaning that it will not be selling new tickets going forward until Airlines’ impasse with regards to trapped funds is resolved.
In a communication sent by NANTA management to members, which was sighted by Nairametrics, the BA said that while it is committed to the Nigerian market, the current move is necessary to mitigate the situation.
What NANTA said
“The National Executive Council of NANTA just concluded a business meeting with British Airways and British Airways conveys assurance that it remains committed to servicing the needs of travel agencies in Nigeria.
“As members may be aware that British Airways closed inventory this morning, please be informed that this inventory closure is a necessary action taken by British Airways to mitigate the increase of their trapped funds.
“However, British Airways provides reassurance that it is still flying in and out of Nigeria and is currently seeking earnest solutions to address the demands of its customers.
“Details on how existing tickets will be serviced will be communicated soon”
All efforts to reach British Airways to get their side of the story were not productive as calls, text messages and WhatsApp messages to the country manager, Mrs. Otuyalu were not responded to.
What you should know
In a related report, British Airways noted that its flights will continue to operate as scheduled.
If BA stops flying to Nigeria, it would have joined Emirates Airlines which announced this month that it will stop services to Nigeria on September 1 over its trapped funds amounting to over $85 million.
Sometime in June, it was reported that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) expressed concerns over the decision by the Federal Government of Nigeria to block foreign airlines from repatriating ticket sales revenue running into $450 million (N188.6 billion) into their respective countries.
IATA also revealed that the revenue belonging to foreign airlines in Nigeria that is being withheld from repatriation as of July 2022 is the sum of $464 million.