Lagos — The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies, NANTA,yesterday  said that cumulative effect of taxes and surcharges were responsible for increase in prices of airline tickets in the country.

The group made the disclosure in a statement at the end of its Annual General Meeting in Ibadan, Oyo State.

A copy of the statement signed by the Financial Secretary of NANTA, Mrs Ngozi Ngoka, was made available in Lagos.

The statement said the effect of taxes and surcharges generated a final price to the consumer that could be as much as double the advertised airfare for a short-haul flight.

It noted that a situation where taxes that go to the airlines were higher than base fares was not acceptable.

The statement therefore, appealed to the Federal Government through the Ministry of Aviation to call foreign airlines to order over alleged sharp practices.

“Consumers are often shocked by the difference between an advertised airfare and the price they ultimately pay for the airline ticket.

“The reason for the discrepancy is that the amount advertised is usually the airline’s ‘base’ airfare on which many surcharges and taxes are levied at the time of purchase,” it said.

According to the statement, some foreign airlines make available on their websites fares which are much cheaper than those available on the agency booking platforms.

It noted that the practice was an unfair competition which was sending a lot of travel agencies out of business.

The statement also decried the astronomical cost of air tickets by foreign airlines which it claimed was ludicrous.

“A situation where air fares from Lagos to London costs between N400, 000 and N450, 000 for economic class ticket from between N150, 000 and N200, 000, simply cannot be justified, notwithstanding the falling Naira against the dollar.

“First class ticket on British carriers and other European airlines has gone up tfrom between N1 million and N1.5 million to N3 million,” it added.

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