By Ayoola Olaitan
Aviation stakeholders have begun to count their losses as the epidemic outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic continues, as air travel agents in the country have lost over N180 billion.
The aviation operators have also called on the Federal Government to make plans to provide interest free loans to cushion the effect of economic losses across the sector.
The President of National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies, NANTA, Mr. Bankole Bernard, an umbrella body of the travel agents operating in the country, has urged banks to grant its members free interest loan as they have recorded N180 billion losses.
According to him, “We appeal to banks through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for interest free loan to ameliorate the effect of Coronavirus on their business. We would also like to appeal IATA to relax travel agencies payment plans by extending the payment period, as members would not want the stigma of default to be on them,”
Meanwhile, Bankole noted that the association’s world press conference is set to hold in Kano later this year where the association will be discussing the impact of Covid-19 on travel business.
The association recorded huge profit last year around the first quarter of the year where travel agencies sold tickets worth $1 billion about N360 million.
The drop in sales of tickets is as a result of restrictions of flights and total shut down of activities in the aviation sector.