The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has ruled out setting an exchange rate for international flight tickets in Nigeria.

The announcement comes after foreign airlines increased ticket prices on an increase in the exchange rate.

IATA does not determine the rates used by foreign airlines; instead, the conversion rate used by the international airline operators is guided by the official market of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Ripples Nigeria newspaper reported, citing an IATA statement.

The global airline industry body said it was “wrong that the conversion rate is called the IATA exchange rate”, stating it is normal for the exchange rate applied to airfares to increase if the CBN rates rise.

IATA said it only applies the spot rate at which the Central Bank of Nigeria sells US dollars through banks.

If the rate at which the CBN sells dollars goes up, the exchange rate applied to airfares will go up and vice versa, IATA stated.

In December 2022, IATA said that the amount of airline funds for repatriation being blocked by governments in more than 27 countries and territories is close to $2 billion.

Nigeria leads the top five markets with blocked funds worth $551 million, followed by Pakistan ($225 million), Bangladesh ($208 million), Lebanon ($144 million) and Algeria ($140 million).

(Editing by Seban Scaria