Home ECONOMY The initiation of Lagos-London flights by Air Peace is expected to compel international airlines to reduce their ticket prices

The initiation of Lagos-London flights by Air Peace is expected to compel international airlines to reduce their ticket prices

by inlandtownadmin
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Travel and tourism specialist, Bankole Bernard, has indicated that the initiation of the Lagos-London direct flight by local carrier Air Peace has compelled foreign airlines, previously enjoying exclusivity on the route, to reduce their airfares.

Appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s The Morning Brief programme, Bernard warned that foreign airlines’ refusal to lower flight tickets on the Lagos-London route could potentially drive them out of the market.

As the ex-President of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Bernard pointed out that the cost of an international flight ticket on the Lagos-London route was as high as N3.5m. However, with Air Peace setting a return economy class ticket at N1.2m, foreign airlines like British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Qatar Airways found themselves obliged to cut their prices to remain competitive.

Bernard argued that foreign airlines operating into Nigeria’s four major airports are reaping substantial profits, unchallenged. These major gateways include Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Kano. He suggested the establishment of an audit committee to investigate the origins of these backlogs, given the airlines’ profitability.

Bernard questioned the sudden drop in airfares, attributing it to the entry of a new player, Air Peace, into a major route (Lagos-London). He noted that Nigerians primarily travel to two destinations: Dubai and London. With Dubai being less accessible recently, Nigerians have turned to the London route, which is where many foreign carriers set their airfares.

The introduction of Air Peace into this space with a direct flight, eliminating any layovers in other countries, has led to a drop in prices. Bernard urged questioning what caused this price drop, stating that as long as there is a new form of supply that differs from the conventional ones, prices will fall. The new supply – Air Peace’s direct flight – will undoubtedly exert pressure on all other routes, forcing all other airlines to adjust quickly or risk exiting the market soon.

Last Saturday, Air Peace, a local carrier in Nigeria, reciprocated the skewed Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and the UK by commencing direct flight operations to Gatwick Airport in London. The Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, and his counterpart at the Trade and Investment Ministry, Doris Uzoka-Anita, were among the passengers on the inaugural Lagos-London flight. This development has been widely praised, with calls for more local airlines to start international flights to profitable routes.

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