Reeling under huge revenue losses, Nigerian travel agents have asked Emirates Airlines, one of the world's mega carriers to return to the Abuja and Kano routes.
The representative of the travel agents based in Abuja, the managing director/CEO of Chubas Travel Services and Emirates tickets sales representative in Abuja, Hon. Usman Ibrahim said Emirates exit from the Abuja and Kano routes was having huge impact on their ticket sales and profit margins of the agencies and government.
Though he declined to say exactly how much the travel agents may have lost from not selling Emirates tickets to Abuja and Kano travelers, data examined by our correspondent showed that the travel agents may have lost in excess of N2 billion from commissions in 10 months.
Emirates stopped its flight operations to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at the end of October 2016 following its inability to buy forex and remit its sales.
The airline had also cited the bad runway at the Abuja airport and scarcity of jet A1 (aviation fuel) as other reasons why it was pulling out of the second busiest route in Nigeria but all of these have been addressed by the Nigerian government. Forex now is available to airlines on demand and aviation fuel is no longer scarce. Also, the damaged Abuja runway has been fixed.
Our correspondent gathered from reliable sources that, Emirates has applied to increase its flight frequency in Lagos from one daily to two, but which the Federal Government has refused to grant.
The government insists that if Emirates wanted more frequencies in Nigeria, it should fly into Abuja or Kano or both and not seek to increase Lagos'.