The naira’s 55% depreciation against the US dollar at the official foreign exchange market has led to a comparable drop in airfares on Nigeria’s international routes. The official exchange rate of the country is recorded by the FMDQ Exchange, which revised its methodology in response to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s accusation that approved foreign exchange dealers were reporting false figures.
As a result, on Monday, the value of the naira fell from approximately 900/dollar to over 1,400/dollar. International airlines operating in Nigeria changed the currency rate of their ticket pricing from roughly N900/dollar to N1,421/dollar just 24 hours after the official adjustment of the exchange rate.
Due to this trend, international airfare for routes through Nigeria increased by almost 55%. Results on Wednesday showed that ticket costs for a number of routes, including Lagos-London-Lagos, Lagos-New York-Lagos, and Lagos-Johannesburg, had increased correspondingly. Susan Akporiaye, the president of the National Association of Nigerian Travel firms, verified the significant increase and voiced concern about its potential effects on financially strapped travel firms. Akporiaye observed that tourists were grudgingly giving up more money since they were required to do so for important business, including medical or educational reasons. For instance, a $1000 airline ticket suddenly cost N1.5 million.
Although she sympathized with travelers, she expected costs to drop and blamed the nation’s economic problems rather than the airlines.
Akporiaye proposed starting alternatives such as N1m airfares and recommended airlines to provide cheaper inventory options to accommodate travelers who are struggling financially. She emphasized that airlines are not in charge of determining exchange rates.
Goldennewsng conducted price checks, and the average cost of an airline ticket to a high-traffic overseas destination—like London—was N2.77 million, Dubai was N2.65 million, New York was N3.2667 million, and Johannesburg was N3.05 million.
The International Air Transport Association revealed that, in 2023, the yearly traffic of African carriers increased by 38.7% over the previous year, despite fluctuations in currency rates. Nevertheless, the correspondent was unable to confirm whether statistics indicated a decline in trip requests in Nigeria.