British Airways (BA) has closed inventory on Nigeria in the Global Distribution System (GDS), resulting in a $464 million loss for foreign airlines, according to the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA).
Susan Akporiaye, President of NANTA, stated this on Friday.
A Global Distribution System (GDS) is a computerized network system that is owned or operated by a company and facilitates transactions between travel industry service providers, primarily airlines, hotels, car rental companies, and travel agencies.
The removal from the GDS, according to Akporiaye, means that travel agents will be unable to make bookings through their portals.
“They closed inventory on the GDS only,” Akporiaye said.
“That means travel agencies can’t issue tickets from our portal but you can book online on their site that is why I said they did not stop sales.
“Even if you go to their office they can’t issue a ticket for you. You only have the option of booking online.”
Akporiaye’s comments come after the association issued a statement earlier on Friday stating that BA had stopped selling tickets in the country and planned to suspend operations in Nigeria.
However, she stated that the airline has not ceased selling tickets, but rather that the inventory has been removed from the global distribution system (GDS).
In response to BA’s suspension of operations in Nigeria, NANTA stated in a statement that no other airline has expressed a desire to withdraw from Nigeria’s airspace.
“The national executive council of NANTA went into a business meeting with British Airways, where British Airways conveyed the assurance that it remains committed to servicing the needs of travel agencies in Nigeria,” the association said.
“NANTA as partners to all the airlines in Nigeria has taken it as a responsibility to visit the carriers to empathise with them concerning their trapped funds and to re-affirm our commitment as trade partners.”