Nigeria’s aviation authorities have said they will not implement their decision to ban foreign airlines operating in Nigeria, but has yet to stop alleged disparity in air fares, until the outcome of the probe by the Senate.
The Ministry of Aviation made the announcement following the expiration, on Wednesday, of the 30-day ultimatum issued to the airlines to end their fare imbalance or face a ban.
“Action in this regard will be determined at the conclusion of the Senate’s investigation in order not to prejudice the outcome of the committee’s report as well as accord due respect and recognition to the current effort of the institution of the National Assembly at resolving the issues in the best interest of the nation,” ministry spokesman Joe Obi said in a statement.
Nigeria has accused foreign airlines operating in the country of charging Nigerian travellers higher fares than their counterparts in other West African nations.
According to the country’s aviation authorities, the difference between fares Nigerians are made to pay on the Lagos-London-Lagos route and what Ghanaians pay on the Accra-London-Accra route is US$4,239 for first class, US$1,055 on business class and US$92 on premium economy.
Acting in defence of the British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, the British High Commission in Nigeria warned that the UK could take “retaliatory actions” against Nigerian carriers if the Nigerian government bans the airlines from flying into the country.