…As Medview Boss Urges Travel Agencies To Form Alliance
…Bernard Calls for Local Content Law To Protect Travel Agencies
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has said that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has violated Nigerian laws by dealing directly with travel agencies, who are not registered with the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA).
This is just as the regulatory body disclosed that it has 157 travel agencies in its register.
The Director of Air Transport, NCAA, Grp. Capt Edom Ita stated this while speaking at the Aviation Round Table (ART) First Quarter 2019 Quarterly Business Breakfast Meeting titled, “Nigerian Travel Agencies Challenges and Regulations” at Golfview Hotel and Suites, Lagos.
The Director said this following accusation that NCAA was not regulating the travel agencies adequately and that this gave IATA the audacity to deal directly with travel agencies that are not registered with NANTA and by extension NCAA.
The NCAA Director stated that over 600 travel agencies doing business with IATA , while less than 200 of them are registered with NANTA but that only 157 travel agencies in the regulatory body’s register.
He stated that there was no way NCAA could regulate travel agencies that are not register with the regulatory body.
According to him, ”We cannot regulate travel agencies that are not in our register.”
The Director noted that stakeholders should throw it back to IATA to know why it relates directly with travel agencies.
Earlier, the President of ART, Elder Gbenga Olowo said that in the past travel agencies see airline as principal partners but that today airlines no longer give travel agencies ticket to sell.
Olowo contended that if this challenge was not addressed, travel agencies may be facing extinction, adding that it would the collective efforts of the stakeholders in the aviation industry to resolve the matter.
On his part, the Managing Director of Medview Airlines, Alhaji Muneer Bankole urged NCAA to apart from regulating and licensing travel agencies should also be concerned about what is happening to them.
Bankole urge travel agencies in the country to form alliance to ensure they get what they want.
NCAA, he said has a lot to do because the revenue of airlines in the country are dwindling and that travel agencies created jobs for Nigerians and as a result they should not be allowed to die.
Speaking,the National President, NANTA, Bankole Bernard stated that travel agencies not only play very important role in the aviation industry but that their operations keeps airlines flying.
NCAA, he stated had been left in the dark, as IATA was dealing with the travel agencies directly and that NANTA was not comfortable with it.
IATA, he contended cannot protect travel agencies in the country because it is not a Nigerian company.
Bernard advocated for local content laws that would protect the interest of travel agencies in the country, adding that NANTA is not comfortable with a situation where travel agency business has become everybody’s business.
The NANTA boss said that travel agencies should be a profitable business, adding that inconsistency and lack of regulation are two major challenges facing the travel agency business
He listed the major challenges of travel agencies to include: poor regulation/ neglect of the downstream sector of the aviation industry, infiltration of the industry by all and sundry and poor application of IATA rules; a global approach to a local hailing industry
Other challenges are lack of awareness of the industry, no proper data records and/or reliable source of data, ignorance of contribution to GDP by the government, lack of recognition of her contribution to the labour force, regulation of the activities of the Global Distribution System(GDS) and abuse of the airline Inventories