Trapped funds: British Airways blocks travel agents from issuing tickets
The national association of Nigeria travel agencies (NANTA) says British Airways (BA) has closed inventory on Nigeria in the global distribution system (GDS), over foreign airlines’ trapped $464 million.
Susan Akporiaye, president of NANTA, said this on Friday in a message to TheCable.
A global distribution system (GDS) is a computerised network system owned or operated by a company that enables transactions between travel industry service providers, mainly airlines, hotels, car rental companies, and travel agencies.
According to Akporiaye, the implication of the removal from the GDS is that travel agents cannot make bookings from their portals.
“They closed inventory on the GDS only,” Akporiaye said.
“That means travel agencies can’t issue tickets from our portal but you can book online on their site that is why I said they did not stop sales.
“Even if you go to their office they can’t issue a ticket for you. You only have the option of booking online.”
Akporiaye’s comments come following reports earlier on Friday that the association had issued a statement stating that BA had stopped selling tickets in the country, and planned to also suspend its operations in Nigeria.
However, she said the airline has not stopped selling tickets but rather, the inventory was yanked off from the global distribution system (GDS).
Regarding BA’s suspension of operations in Nigeria, NANTA in a statement said no other airline has expressed the desire to pull out of Nigeria’s air space.
“The national executive council of NANTA went into a business meeting with British Airways, where British Airways conveyed the assurance that it remains committed to servicing the needs of travel agencies in Nigeria,” the association said.
NANTA as partners to all the airlines in Nigeria has taken it as a responsibility to visit the carriers to empathise with them concerning their trapped funds and to re-affirm our commitment as trade partners.”
Aside Emirates Airlines that has made withdrawal notice public, no other airline has announced or expressed the desire to stop flying to Nigeria as far as we know.”