25 April 2012

Nigeria: Oduah Suspends Roposed Ban On Foreign Airlines Over Fares

Photo: This Day
Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Ms Stella Oduah, the Minister of Aviation, on Wednesday suspended the proposed ban on foreign airlines over fare disparity, a statement said in Abuja on Wednesday.

The statement, issued by Mr Joe Obi, the minister's Special Adviser on Media, said the suspension followed the intervention of the National Assembly in the matter.

The ministry had on March 26 issued a 30-day ultimatum to all foreign airlines operating in Nigeria to address the disparity in fares charged within the West African Coast or face a ban from operating in Nigerian.

According to the statement, that ultimatum expires today.

She lifted the proposed ban in order not to prejudice the investigation of the House of Representative, the Senate and NASS, the statement said.

Oduah said that since the ultimatum was issued, consultations and negotiations had been held between the Nigerian and British authorities on operations of BA and Virgin Atlantic Airline.

The statement said negotiations involving other foreign carriers had also been on-going but the most significant development since the issue broke was the intervention of the NAAS.

"While the minister insists that the regional fare imbalance must be dismantled, with severe consequences for all airlines that fail to comply, it is, however, imperative to allow the Senate investigation to take its full course.

"As a result, the proposed ban of all airlines that fail to restore fare parity has been put on hold in the interim deference to the ongoing intervention effort of the Senate and the National Assembly," Oduah said.

She added that action regarding the determination on the disparity would now be concluded of the Senate investigation.

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