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AVIATIONNEWSLETTER

Dana, Arik, Aero, Suspend Lagos-Accra Flights Over Forex Scarcity

Local carriers in Nigeria, Aero Contractors and Dana Air have suspended sched­uled commercial flights between Lagos and Accra, Ghana, due to the exorbitant foreign exchange cost.

According to the airlines, it was uneconomical to contin­ue doing business on the route given that charges paid to Ghana’s airport and regulatory agencies by for­eign airlines flying into the country are done in foreign currencies, Daily Sun gathered.

A top official of Dana Air said:“Most of our passengers are Nigerians and they usu­ally buy return tickets and pay in naira. But the bulk of the charges we pay in Ghana are in dollars and those charges are so expen­sive by the time we convert air fares collected in naira to dollars.”

The official noted that under such conditions, making profit becomes Herculian, unless the airlines decide to raise fares, which in it­self could only end up in seeing the operators flying half-filled aircraft.

On the other hand, Spokesman for Aero, Simon Tumba, told Daily Sun on phone that the suspension of the La­gos-Accra route was also temporary. He, however, would not link the deci­sion to forex scarcity insist­ing the major reason for the suspension was due to an ongoing restructuring exercise following the air­line’s takeover by a receiver and Arik Air with a new management.

“We now have a new management in place and it has to decide what we can do and what we cannot do to remain in business; and the temporary suspen­sion of the Lagos-Accra flight was one of them,” he said.

The decision leaves lim­ited option to most passen­gers on that route that fly Dana, Aero Contractors. They are Nigeria’s three airlines operating the lu­crative Lagos-Accra route. Their exit, albeit temporar­ily, leaves only Med-View Airlines on that route.

 

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