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Nigerian air travellers’ demand equivalent drop in fares as VAT remittances end

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Considering the retaining of ticket rates upon official end to 5% Value Added Tax (VAT), several Nigerian air travellers are beginning to ask questions on why airlines are yet to effect drop in their air fares.

A number of domestic travelers who spoke with Business Hilights Correspondents in Lagos and Abuja airports weekend, say they are worried that almost one week after, no local airline had though it wise to reflect the end to VAT remittances by lowering their fares.

Otherwise, travellers seek a marginal review of fares following the recent removal of mandatory five per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on air transportation.

A top official of one of the airlines confided in our correspondent in a telephone interview that airlines operators saw the gesture by the federal government stand with them in abolishing VAT as more of compensation to the airlines that are over burdened by multiple charges instead of mere advantage to air passengers after all.

Checks on the airlines’ booking platforms weekend revealed no sign of fare reduction to reflect the end of VAT which would have been an advantage to travellers.

It was not however, clear if Arik Air that lately introduced a super and smart saver promo was as a result of the end to the VAT remittances as other airlines retained an average fare of between N24, 000 to N28, 000 Economy Class ticket for Lagos-Abuja flight of 24 hours away.

Arik Air, had last Friday, introduced the ‘Now everyone can fly promo’ to all destinations, with tickets of N16, 000 and N18, 500 for seven and four days advanced booking, in that order. Spokesperson of the airline, Banji Ola, confirmed the special offer, but with a condition that the tickets are available at the time of booking.

Other airlines contacted failed to make any comment that suggests plans to effect downward review of fares.

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