Air fares rise amid ‘cheery news’
Air travellers yesterday had nothing to show for the new economic status, as international air fares went up by some percentages.A check on portals of some foreign airlines and travel agencies revealed an upward review of ticket prices by about 10 per cent. For instance, some United States destinations, it was gathered, went up by about N100, 000 per return ticket.
The Guardian learnt that the review was due to a new exchange rate for the sale of air tickets in the country announced by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The global clearing house for over 275 major airlines in the world recently reviewed the exchange rate for ticket from N305 to N326 for a dollar.The move is not unconnected with foreign airlines’ inability to repatriate funds at the official rate of N305/dollar that they had been selling tickets since the partial devaluation of the naira last year.
Former chairman of the Auto and Allied Sector Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Oseme Oigiagbe, who said the automotive sector was worst hit by the economic downturn, stated that the report did not align with the realities reality in the sector.
He was pessimistic about a quick recovery in the sector since the middle class was badly affected and currently almost eroded. He said: “There is a direct relationship between the level of recession the country experienced and the automotive sector. Since we are out of recession according to NBS, it cannot translate to a direct or effective positioning of the sector yet. We can’t see anything that will say we are out of recession.
“The middle class, which is supposed to have the purchasing power to acquire vehicles, has completely been eroded. That is the potential market that we all run after. Right now, it is only government or high class individuals that can acquire vehicles.”
The Deputy Managing Director at Kewalram Chanrai Group, Victor Eburajolo, also shared same sentiments, noting that the sector was yet to feel such impact and could remain so till the end of the year.
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