Travel News

Prices Of Tokunbo Cars Still High Despite Stronger Naira - LEADERSHIP

APRIL 08, 2024

Written by Yusuf Babalola

End users of used imported vehicles also known as Tokunbo, are yet to heave a sigh of relief despite reduction on Customs duty of imported used vehicles also known as Tokunbo, despite appreciation in the value of naira against the United States dollar.

LEADERSHIP reports that the cost of Tokunbo cars surged by over 100 per cent between May last year and last month, on the back of the naira woes against the dollar, pushing fairly used vehicles out of the reach of many potential buyers.

Fairly used cars are popular among the middle class and small businesses, with the United States of America and Germany being the main source to Nigeria.

However, the naira has appreciated significantly from N1,615/$1 on 15th March, 2024 to N1,251/$1 on Friday, 5th April, 2024.

Also, the Customs FX rate for computing  duty on imported cargo dropped from N1,515/$1 in March, 2024 to N1,251/$1 on Saturday, April 6, 2024.

Accordingly, while naira appreciated 22.5 per cent at the official market, Customs FX appreciated by 17.4 per cent in the last three weeks.

To this end, the cost of purchasing imported cargoes at the country of origin and import duty payment at Nigeria seaport have dropped drastically.

With this, end users demand reduction in prices of imported used items especially vehicles which has remained astronomically high.

We expect prices to be favourable in the coming months should the exchange rate maintain the current trend. The effect may be felt in the next few months, maybe one or two months from today,” Chukwu Innocent, a end user stated.

But, a visit to an online marketplace for sales of used and new vehicles in Nigeria, www.jiji.ng showed that sellers still maintained the price of vehicles before naira started gaining momentum.

For instance, a foreign used (Tokunbo), 2009 edition of RX 300 still maintained its old price of N11.5 million; 2007 RX 350 goes for N138.8 million; 2017 ES 350 goes for N27 million while 2012 Lexus 350 goes for N19.5 million.

Also, a 2010 Toyota Sienna sells for N14.4 million; 2013 Toyota Camry goes for N13.7 million; 1012 Toyota Corolla, N9.3 million; 2010 Toyota Venza is N10.5 million while a 2006 Toyota Corolla still maintained its N7 million price.

Mercedes Benz 2007 M class goes for N9.4 million; 2012 GLK 350 sells for N13.5 million; 2004 C230, N7.2 million; 2016 C300, N26.5 million and 2010 C300 sells foe N9.7 million.


Foreign used 2013 Honda Pilot goes for N14 million; 2006 Honda Pilot is N5 million while 2009 Honda Accord goes for N6.5 million and 2011 Honda Accord sells for N9.5 million.


Speaking to LEADERSHIP, the president, Association of Motor Dealers of Nigeria (AMDON), Prince Akinola Adedoyin, said it will take months before prices of foreign used vehicles can come down.

 According to him, while it takes months to import, vehicle dealers must sell off their old stock bought with high dollar rate before importing new stocks that will sell lesser.


“Well, you know that even if the dollar goes down, the goods bought within these high time needed to be sold before their could be a change. You also know that purchasing power has not been commensurate with the increase then. Also, when the dollar went up all vehicles that came in would be sold before the price can be reduced but people are expecting that once dollar drops today, the price should drop the next day but it doesn’t work that way because dollar rate has been rising since December to mid March before it started going down and buyers want price to reflect immediately that’s not the way to go,” Adedoyin stated. 

Adedoyin said the fairly use vehicle sector  controlled major sector of the economy because road transport is readily available to the masses


“Well, we should expect it to drop soon but don’t forget that except the new vehicles comes that is when it has the capacity of forcing down the prices of the old one still in stock because when new ones are coming in and the prices are low then it will definitely bring down the cost or you risk not selling even though one cannot give a timeline because it depends on purchasing power.


“Apart from three months that it takes to import, even that Importation depend on the cash crunch because some importers stopped importation and diverted into other businesses and our own sector controlled the major economy because in this country now, the road is the only available mode of transportation opened to millions of Nigeria so, whatever affect it, affect all the strata of the economy but we are hopeful that in the next few months, the price will come down,” Adedoyin told LEADERSHIP.


The president general, Berger Motor Dealers, Lagos, Chief Metchie Nnadiekwe, corroborated Prince Adedoyin, saying the price of fairly used vehicles are expected to drop in three months.


According to him, vehicles bought during the increase in exchange rate would be sold and new one will bring down the price.


“For me, the dollar rate has come down but we can’t expect the price to come down immediately because the vehicles on various stands are being bought during the high rate of dollar. What about the one we bought then? Do we sell at a loss?,” he asked rhetorically.


He continued, “We have to sell the way we bought and the new one we are buying will lower the price. But, I can assure you that  gradually, the price will come down. We also want it to come down because we are not enjoying it either. Customers are not buying vehicles now,” he lamented.


“Maybe in three months, when we receive new consignment that we ordered and after we sold the old one we have bought, the price will drop,” he stated.

Emirates concludes plans to resume flights to Nigeria before June – Minister - BUSINESSDAY

APRIL 08, 2024

Festus Keyamo, the minister of aviation and aerospace development has announced that Emirates has concluded plans to resume flight operations to Nigeria before June, 2024.

Keyamo disclosed this on Arise Tv on Monday, stating that he had received a letter from Emirates on the return of the carrier.

He however noted that the first announcement in October last year over the proposed resolution of the face-off between both nations was not fake news but was ‘hasty’.

“Emirates flight resumption is almost happening. I just received a letter from Emirates. The letter is on my phone now. They are ready to come back. They will announce the date because to restart a route, they have to get an aircraft for that route.”

“I am announcing to Nigerians for the first time; that I just received a letter from Emirates now. The letter is with me. I have a hard copy thanking you for all the efforts we made. Mr. President was the showman here. He was the one who pushed for it. He made my job easy because he went there, and had a diplomatic shuttle to resolve all the issues.

“That was why I said the last announcement was hasty and not fake news. They will announce the date for their next flight. We have received a letter confirming that all the issues have been resolved and prepared to start coming back. It may be before June.”

Emirates in 2022 suspended flight operations to Nigeria — for the second time in the year – over its inability to repatriate its revenue trapped in the country.

Emirates mulls return, airfares to drop further on naira gains - BUSINESSDAY

APRIL 09, 2024

Airfares for flights out of Nigeria are expected to drop further as the naira has extended its gains against the dollar and the Emirates Airline plans to resume operations into Nigeria.

Festus Keyamo, minister of aviation and aerospace development, announced on Monday that Emirates had concluded plans to resume flight operations to Nigeria before June.

Keyamo disclosed this on Arise TV, saying that he had received a letter from Emirates on the return of the carrier.

Stakeholders in the aviation sector have said that the strengthening of the naira and the resumption of flights by Emirates will cause ticket fares to reduce drastically.

BusinessDay had earlier reported that airfares from Nigeria to other countries have in recent times seen a significant drop, following the appreciation of naira and the competition arising from Air Peace commencement of Lagos-London route.

The pressure on the foreign exchange market has eased in recent weeks after the naira fell to record lows.

The large naira depreciation caused by the FX reforms that started last year had led to a steep rise in the International Air Transport Association (IATA) rate for ticket sales.

Last week, the IATA rate for ticket sales in Nigeria dropped from almost N1,800/$ a few months ago to N1,395/$.

The drop in the rate quickly saw the prices of tickets drop across several destinations.

one-way ticket from Lagos to London on British Airways that was sold for N3 million (Economy Class) and N11 million (Business Class) cost N1.7 million and N6.8 million respectively.

On Lufthansa, the price of a one-way ticket from Lagos to London dropped from N3 million (Economy) and N9 million (Business) to N2 million and N7 million respectively.

On Virgin Atlantic, the price for Economy, Economy Premium and Business Class fell from N2 million, N5 million and N12 million to N1.5 million, N3 million and N6 million respectively.

Susan Akporiaye, president National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA), said that when the naira was as low as N1,850 to a dollar, ticket inventory available on the Lagos-London route was between N5 million to N6 million.

“The rate of exchange determines the price of tickets. Now the rate of exchange has dropped, BA and Virgin Atlantic are charging as low as N1.1 million and N1.2 million for a return ticket from Lagos to London. As the naira gains more strength, fares will continue to drop. Air Peace will also have to further reduce fares; if not, they will not be able to compete on the route,” Akporiaye said.

She said airlines also resumed promo fares because of Air Peace, adding that if Emirates resumes flights into Nigeria, tickets from Nigeria would further drop.

She said: “Promo tickets for Virgin are N900,000. Egypt Air is also doing a 15 percent discount as promo. Tickets are priced in dollars. If the rate of exchange comes down to N700 to a dollar, then fares will come to as low as N500,000.

“Emirates is the master of price war because they have the money. Emirates, despite suspending flights in Nigeria for over two years, has been paying their staff and keeping their office space. Emirates will come back and slash ticket prices to London. This is when the price war will begin. Emirates don’t depend on sales of tickets to survive.”

Kingsley Nwokoma, president of the Association of Foreign Airlines and Representatives in Nigeria, told BusinessDay that a substantial amount of trapped funds have been paid to foreign airlines and that was why foreign airlines released lower fares.

“The reason why fares went up in the first place was because low inventories were shut down. Now the government has shown enough goodwill to make payments; so it is in the interest of airlines to also show some goodwill to Nigerians by making low inventories available. To the best of my knowledge, CBN has cleared all the backlog; the only outstanding payments are the ones with the commercial banks,” Nwokoma said.

He said it was at the same time CBN cleared the trapped funds that the naira gained strength. This, according to him, made fares drop.

“Fortunately, all these happened the same time Air Peace commenced its Lagos-London flight,” he added.

He said the resumption of Emirates flights will mean more competition on international routes and this will mean more choices for passengers.

Last year, IATA disclosed that Nigeria owed $812.2 million out of $2.27 billion trapped funds, making it the country with the highest trapped funds globally.

The top five countries that accounted for 68.0 percent of blocked funds were Nigeria ($812.2 million), Bangladesh ($214.1 million), Algeria ($196.3 million), Pakistan ($188.2 million) and Lebanon ($141.2 million).

Air ticket sales dropped by 40% in Q4, 2023 over high fares, trapped funds – NANTA - BUSINESSDAY

APRIL 09, 2024

The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) has disclosed that for last quarter of the year 2023, ticket sales reduced by 40 percent when compared to same period in 2022.

According to Susan Akporiaye, the trapped funds issue, the rate of exchange and its scarcity and restrictions of the lower inventories to the travel agencies from Nigeria by airlines were factors that led to the drop in ticket sales for last quarter of 2023.

“It was difficult for us to be able to get foreign exchange. The restrictions put by the airlines because of foreign exchange availability led to the drop in sales from Nigeria. Our members had to put up survival mechanism.

“Majority of the tickets we sold were out of Nigeria. Those sales were not attributed to the Nigerian market. If we are going to access the Ghana market or any West African country market, they would see an unusual growth, while it is a downward trend for the Nigerian market. This is because the airlines closed the lower inventories while the same lower inventories were open in other markets.

“So, what we did as travel agencies was to move our sales to other markets. Interestingly, the travel is still from Nigeria. Passengers still travel from Lagos to London but the tickets were bought in Ghana. So, the revenue is going to be attributed to Ghana and not to us,” Akporiaye explained.

She noted that for passengers traffic in terms of travel; the percentage at which it reduced was very small but reduction in sales was 40 percent.

Speaking at the pre-48th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of NANTA in Lagos on Tuesday, which is scheduled to hold between April 23 through 27, 2024 in Lagos with the theme: ‘Unlocking Africa’s Economic Potential: Travel and Tourism as catalyst for intra Africa Business Investment and Trade,’ Akporiaye said that the last four years of her leadership as NANTA President had been challenging, especially with trapped funds of foreign airlines in the country, restrictions of the lower inventories to the travel agencies from Nigeria by airlines and the unstable foreign exchange, which stopped some passengers from flying through the nation’s airports.

On the recognised NANTA members by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Akporiaye gave the figures as about 1,500 and 2000, respectively.

She emphasised that when she assumed office about four years ago, NCAA had only 300 travel agencies in its book, but said enhanced relationship, unification and advocacy increased the number to the present figure.

Besides, she stressed that NANTA was working with NCAA to fish out quacks in the profession, noting that to be recognised as a travel agency, such an organisation must have NCAA certification, recommended by at least one financial member of NANTA and must be recognised by the association.

She was however quick to say that “there are quacks in every profession.”

On the forthcoming AGM, Akporiaye stated that Mr. Humphery Geiseb, the High Commissioner, Namibia to Nigeria would be the keynote speaker and special guest.

Geiseb would speak on ‘Destination Africa: Exploring Technology and Innovation Driven Tourism, A Call to Action for Professionals in Travel and Tourism.’

Also, Festus Keyamo and Lola Ace-John, the Ministers of Aviation and Aerospace Development and Tourism, respectively are some of the special guests of the day and would deliver goodwill messages at the AGM.

Besides, Allen Oyeama, Chairman of Air Peace would speak on collaborative strategies for aviation stakeholders and professionals within ‘SAATM Policy and Economic Framework,’ while Mr. Ikechi Uko, founder of Akwaaba Travel Market, would speak on identifying business, trade, and investment prospects in emerging Africa travel and tourism markets.

She further explained that NANTA would unveil an Intra Africa Tourism Trade Exhibition, which it considered as an ambitious and legacy project that the association could sustainably grow as a window to connect Africa and Nigeria with the world.

CNN host laments after paying $215 for entry visa into Nigeria - THE GUARDIAN

APRIL 09, 2024

Popular CNN International Correspondent, Larry Madowo, has expressed displeasure after he was charged $215 (N268,554) for a one-month single entry visa to Nigeria.

Madowo disclosed this in a video posted on his X handle on arrival in Nigeria.

The 36-year-old, who is the host of the African Voices Changemakers and Playmakers series, described the money he had to pay as too much.

“So I’m back in Lagos actually I was here three weeks ago and one more time I’ve been charged $215 for a one-month single entry visa and here is the thing, the visa cost $25.

“But Nigeria charges you $170 for biometrics every single time. And then for a good measure, another $20 for processing.

“So make it make sense for me: my finger prints have not changed since I was here three weeks ago. Why am I paying another $170 for biometrics? And after that, I’ve been here three different times in 2024 so that’s $645 that Nigeria has made from me.

"It’s too much! It’s plenty money and these visas are giving me problems. I want to come back many more times, but how can we talk about borderless Africa when Africans are getting charged $215 for visas?”

He explained that he had gone to Uganda and South Africa and Ghana on a Kenyan passport but did not need visas to go to the three countries but every time he comes to Nigeria he must part with $215.

Confusion as Nigeria national ID cards multiply - BIOMETRICS.COM

APRIL 09, 2024

There’ve been mixed reactions in Nigeria after the federal government unveiled plans to introduce a new multi-purpose national digital ID card, with some describing it as a duplicative effort and a waste of resources.

In a statement issued Friday April 5, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), said the new ID card, whose launch is supported by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System, will have payments and social service delivery functions, and will facilitate access to other services including travel, health insurance information, microloans, agriculture, food stamps, transport, and energy subsidies, just to mention a few.

The agency added that among other features, the credential, to be powered by a national ID card scheme dubbed AfriGo, will have a machine-readable zone (MRZ) in line with ICAO’s standards for biometric passports, a QR code that will contain the holder’s national identification number (NIN), and the possibility for face and fingerprints biometric authentication as the primary medium for identity verification through the data on the card chip.

One card or three different cards?

After the NIMC announcement, the institution’s Technical Adviser for Media and Communications, Ayodele Babalola, later made a declaration which appeared to be different from the substance of the ID authority’s April 5 statement.

In an interview with Punch, the official said three new cards will be introduced (apparently different from the announced multi-function card), and they’ll comprise a bank-enabled ID, a social protection card and another – the (ENBIC) which will be used within the West African community.

He didn’t not mention when these cards will be launched, saying the decision would be sequel to a clearance by the presidency.

The number of new cards to be introduced notwithstanding, the announcements come as Nigeria is pursing efforts to expand coverage of the NIN – another digital ID – which has so far been issued to nearly 105 million people. The World Bank recently lauded Nigeria’s NIN issuance progress in a report. Different states in the country, including Edo and Lagos also have biometric resident ID cards for different purposes.

Nigerians criticize multiplicity of cards

Across the country’s social media space, there have been strong criticism of the NIMC’s announcement of yet other cards.

“We have NIN and voter’s card. What stops the federal government from integrating whatever technology they have from those? Putting Nigerians through another round of stress is unnecessary. This smells like a well packaged fraud as usual. We are not kids anymore,” Rita Sunshine, an X user commented under the NIMC’s announcement.

Another X user identified as AI Ken asked rhetorical questions: “APC season of national card Vs new card. Are all these for our benefits or for the benefit of contractors? What is the different between NIN, PVC, BVN and this upcoming card?”

In what looks like an anticipated response to these criticisms, the NIMC wrote in its announcement. “The national ID card, layered with verifiable national identity features, is backed by the NIMC Act No 23 of 2007 which mandates NIMC to enroll and issue a General-Purpose card (GMPC) to Nigerians and legal residents.”

“This card will address the demand for physical identification enabling cardholders prove their identity, access government and private sector services, facilitate financial inclusion for disenfranchised Nigerians, empower citizens, as well as encourage increased participation in nation-building.”

According to the NIMC, the card can be requested for online at commercial banks, some dedicated agencies involved in social programmes, or any NIMC office across the country.

“Only registered citizens and legal residents with the National Identification Number will be eligible to request the card. Cardholders will also be able to use the cards as debit or prepaid cards by linking same to bank accounts of their choice. The cards shall enable eligible persons especially those financially excluded from social and financial services have access to multiple government intervention programmes.”

Following the criticisms online, the NIMC has also clarified that the issuance of the new card will not require the collection of additional biographic or biometric information.

Sunak Says He Won’t Let a ‘Foreign Court’ Block Deportations - BLOOMBERG

APRIL 10, 2024

(Bloomberg) -- Rishi Sunak said the UK will not let foreign courts block his plan to deport migrants to Rwanda, and declared “enough is enough,” suggesting the prime minister is considering the UK’s ongoing membership of the European Convention on Human Rights.

“I won’t let a foreign court block our ability to put people on planes and send them to Rwanda,” Sunak told LBC radio on Wednesday, when asked if the governing Conservatives would contemplate the possibility of leaving the ECHR. “I’ve come at this very reasonably. We’ve worked hard. We’ve got the numbers down. We’ve done everything right. We’ve passed new laws through Parliament, we’ve addressed everyone’s concerns, but at this point enough is enough.”

Sunak was speaking amid speculation he could commit his Conservatives to withdrawing from the ECHR in order to ensure Britain can deport migrants. He refused to be drawn specifically on whether he would put that commitment in his party’s election manifesto. He must hold a national vote by the end of January and repeated his expectation that the country would go to the polls in the second half of this year. 

Lagos-Calabar coastal highway costs N4bn per kilometre – Umahi - PUNCH

APRIL 11, 2024

By Damilola Aina

The Minister of Works, David Umahi, has said the government is constructing the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway at a total cost of N4bn per kilometre and not the N8bn per km reportedly claimed by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

This indicates that the total project will be completed at the cost of N2.8trn.

The minister also dismissed claims that the project didn’t follow the due procurement process, stating that the contract was awarded on a counter-funding basis and not on a Public-Private Partnership as widely claimed.

Umahi disclosed this information when he appeared as a guest on the Television Continental News Hour programme on Wednesday in Lagos.

Last week, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 general election, Atiku Abubakar, questioned President Bola Tinubu administration’s decision to allegedly award the contract to Gilbert Chagoury’s Hitech without competitive bidding, daring the president to disclose the full cost of the Lagos-Calabar highway project.

He also wondered why the Tinubu administration released N1.06tn for the pilot phase, or six per cent of the project, which begins at Eko Atlantic and is expected to terminate at the Lekki Deep Sea Port.

But responding in a statement on Tuesday, Umahi explained that despite the soaring costs of materials in the construction industry due to commodity price inflation and supply chain disruptions, the ministry is committed to prudence, promising to reveal the true cost.

However, in the interview, Umahi confirmed that the project would be completed within eight years, stating that with the use of concrete pavement on the four-lane carriageway, the project costs N4bn per km.

He also explained that although N1.06tn was appropriated, the full amount had not been disbursed.

The minister explained, “People are just building castles without knowledge and they don’t know figures, I will run the figures for you. We are going to compare the cross-section of the one the former vice president mentioned that was renegotiated for $11.1bn for 700 km. So you have to now ask what was there to be constructed. And what was there to be constructed is the only available design from NDDC. They had designed the entire 700 km but we are not following exactly that pattern or right of way. We have a different modification. The original design had two carriageways on each side of the road with four lanes.

“And in the middle, they did not provide for the train track. It’s just going to be a water-collecting basin. But the coastal road we are constructing has a total of 10 lanes, you know, not only that it has a total of 10 lanes, it also have what we called shoulders. And the total shoulders can be put at about 23 metres. So when you put the total concrete pavement we are doing, it’s about 59 metres. When you put the total flexible pavement that he quoted it’s about 23 metres.

“And so when you run the figures, you now find out that under his calculation, it is giving you about over N19bn per kilometre. Now if you divide it by the 23 kilometres that they are doing, it is about 2.225 times a standard superhighway carriageway, which is N11.55bn. Whereas what we are doing, if you divide it, you get N5.167bn, So when you now divide using our 1.067, you get about N4bn/km. If you go back to what he has quoted, you will get over N8bn. So using concrete, which should be more expensive because of the kind of terrain we have, and using flexible pavement, which shouldn’t stand the coastal route, you will find out that our cost is N4bn instead of the N8bn claimed by the former vice president.

On the mode of the construction process, the former Ebonyi governor explained that the administration never envisaged the project under a Private Public Partnership arrangement but under an Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Finance programme as currently used on the Abuja- Markurdi road project.

He said, “This administration never envisaged the project under Private Public Partnership. It has always been under engineering, procurement, construction and finance. And so under this kind of arrangement, as you have on the Abuja to Makurdi road project, the federal government is required to pay a certain amount for counterpart funding. And so in this particular project of Abuja to Makurdi, which is being handled by China Harbour, the government is paying 50 per cent counterpart funding. Then you have also from Makurdi to 9th Mile in Enugu state, where we are also paying 50 per cent counterpart funding. So, there’s a marked difference between PPP and EPC plus F. And in this particular project, there will be a negotiated counterpart funding of between 15 and 30 per cent

“When I was a governor, I had the African Development Bank fund a project through counterpart funding and I used some of the money to build some sections of the road. So part of what we are constructing under sections one, two and three currently funded by the federal government will fall under the percentage counterpartfunding. When we finalise the negotiation, it will be between 15 per cent and 30 per cent.

But findings by our correspondent showed that the statement is contrary to claims made by the minister on September 23, 2023, when he unveiled the design plan for the project.

Speaking to journalists, the minister also said Hitech Construction would fund the project under the Public-Private Partnership model.

Umahi said, “Let me announce that this project is under PPP. The Hitech group are going to look for the money. They have already found the money and that is the good news because we don’t waste our time talking and holding meetings and wasting resources.”

“We are engaging seriously because we have seen the financial capacity and capability of Hitech and this project is going to be delivered in phases. Any section that we complete, we will toll it and then business and transportation will start.”

Continuing, the works minister said the constructing company was only invited by the ministry based on their pedigree to construct the roads, adding that there was no public bidding process for the project.

“We followed all procurement acts and the act permits the Federal Ministry of Works to invite a company that has specialised skill in a particular work. For instance, we have some problems on the Third Mainland Bridge with some underwater works and whom did we invite? We invited Julius Berger because they have the skill to the exclusive rights of theirs and we submitted a bid for it and we negotiated and awarded the job. Of course, we ran through the Bureau of Public Procurement and of course also to the Federal Executive Council. So it followed due process,” Umahi concluded.

Lufthansa Suspends Services to Iran Amid Rising Tensions - BLOOMBERG

APRIL 11, 2024

(Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Lufthansa AG has suspended services to Tehran amid an escalation in tensions in the Middle East.

The German flag carrier said that the halt began on April 6 and will continue until April 13, according to a spokeswoman. The airline’s Frankfurt-Tehran service requires an overnight layover for crews. 

Austrian Airlines, owned by Lufthansa, flies to Iran from Vienna in same-day return service and is scheduled to operate this evening, according to FlightRadar24.

Tensions in the Middle East are soaring after the US warned that possible missile or drone strikes by Iran or its proxies against Israel were imminent, in retaliation for an attack on a diplomatic compound in the Syrian capital of Damascus last week that killed senior Iranian military officials.

Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines are the only two Western carriers still operating services to Tehran, although the Iranian capital is served by carriers including Qatar Airways, Flydubai, Emirates, Oman Air, Turkish Airlines, Pegasus, Corendon Airlines, and Air Arabia.

The German carrier was the first foreign airline to resume flights to Israel in January after suspending the service in the wake of   of the conflict between Hamas and Israel.

Cost of UK passports to rise for second time in 14 months - SKYNEWS

APRIL 11, 2024

From Thursday, the price of applying online for a new or renewed adult passport will increase from £82.50 to £88.50 - a 7% rise. It comes after a 9% rise in February last year.

The cost of a UK passport will increase again this week for the second time in 14 months.

From Thursday, the price of applying online for a new or renewed adult passport will increase from £82.50 to £88.50 - a 7% rise.

It comes after a 9% rise in February last year.

Before that increase, passport prices had not increased for five years - an online application for an adult cost £75.50.

The cost of applying for a child's passport online is also going up, from £53.50 to £57.50.

Those applying by post will see the biggest hike, with the price rising from £93 to £100 for an adult passport and from £64 to £69 for a child.

Online and paper applications made from overseas are even more expensive.

In a statement when the price rises were proposed in March, the Home Office said the government does not make any profit from the cost of passport applications.

"The new fees will help ensure that income from these applications better meets the cost of delivering passport and associated operations, reducing reliance on funding from general taxation," it said.

"The fees contribute to the cost of processing passport applications, consular support overseas, including for lost or stolen passports, and the cost of processing British citizens at UK borders.

"The increase will also help enable the government to continue improving its services."


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