British Airways is assessing its flight routes to Nigeria. Not so long ago carriers like Iberia and United Airlines belonging to Spain and United states respectively halted their flights to the country of which currency control which delays access to their revenue was one of the main reason behind it. This development has put pressure on the aviation industry.
Mr Kola Olayinka, Nigeria’s control manager of British Airways and Iberia said that the United Kingdom carrier is struggling to send home its share of the $575m that Nigeria currently owes to airlines globally from tickets sold.
In his email response to questions, he went further to say Spanish carrier, Iberia halted flights to Lagos on May 12, 2016 because of such prevailing circumstances hindering operations and dwindling passenger numbers.
In an account on Wednesday, International Air Transport Association, IATA warned that Lagos could lose its status as a hub to West Africa. However, United Airlines had already informed employees on Wednesday that it would end flights from the US to Nigeria on June 30 because of a lack of demand and difficulty in collecting payments.
The Chief Executive Officer, IAG, the parent company for British Airways and Iberia, Mr. Willie Walsh, said last month that Iberia would stop serving Lagos after the low price of oil caused Nigeria’s economy to contract for the first time since 2004 in the first quarter.
Limits on dollar repatriation have been imposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria as reserves slip to $26.5bn, the lowest in more than a decade, from more than $30bn in early 2015.
According to Olayinka,”The government is assessing the situation, while the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has suggested a flexible exchange rate regime that would end the naira’s peg to the US dollar.”