Re: Foreign travel syndicates rip-off Nigeria with SOTO tickets sales

Your Aviation Metric news release of Wednesday, June 1, 2022, refers.

“Foreign travel syndicates rip-off Nigeria with SOTO ticket sales. The big travel agents like Satguru, Waheguru, Blueberry, and others, particularly based in India and Southeast Asia take advantage of the relative ease in ticket issuance through APG IET and other Global Distribution Systems (GDS) like Amadeus, Galileo, and Sabre among others issue what is generally known as Sold Outside Tickered Outside (SOTO)will incur additional fees”.

This assertion above is completely misleading in basic ticketing rules, to say the least. It is also capable of causing serious consequences for businesses in a volatile economy such as Nigeria.

Issues pertaining to foreign exchange availability to airlines are very critical and do require strong due diligence before opinion gets to the public domain. The stakeholders deserve the right to a prior fair hearing.

 

President, Aviation Round Table (ART), Dr. Gabriel Olowo

To set the records straight, the acronyms SOTO, SOTI, SITI and SITO were erroneously defined as you seriously mixed them up.

Without attempting to bring you for basic training in airline ticketing, the implementation of the only sales in Nigeria which affects airlines’ home remittances is SOTI (Sold Outside Ticketed Inside) previously known as Prepaid Ticket Advice (PTA) and SITI (Sold Inside Ticketed Inside).

It is the Nigerian activities and transactions that involve the Naira and all its related taxes that subsequently accrue for airline home remittances and demand for Forex.

Tariff is at the convenience of the payer and buyer. The Outside transactions SOTO (Sold Outside Ticketed Outside) and SITO (Sold Inside Ticketed Outside) do not in any way deal with the Naira or airline home remittance. It merely grows traffic from Nigeria as payment transactions are done through the IATA BSP of the issuing country.

Airline inventories (as filed) are carried by the “Market Place” the Global Distribution System (GDS) and the onus lies with the airline to restrict its sales on any of the four nomenclatures.

The publication has totally distorted the fact and is capable of misleading the industry and authority against legitimate airline transactions and its distribution outlets.

Dr. Gabriel Olowo

President, ART

Wole Shadare