03 May 2007

Sabre emulates Worldspan - sets up GSA in Nigeria

Eyeing one of the largest markets in Africa (also one of the riskiest) Sabre has partnered with local Nigerian Travel Agency group Interguide Air Limited, that will see it become available to the nearly 800 Travel Agencies in the country.

Nigeria is a well known center for fraud and questionable ticketing practices. Cash is the usual form of financial instrument but still altered tickets and various techniques have emenated from there. The age of the internet has not dimmed these efforts. How many of us have received offers to bank $8.7 million from so and so's widow?

However with Virgin Nigeria now more than a year old and well established. New Carrier Arik Air bursting onto the scene with a major order from Boeing last week - you have to think the risk is now lessened. Arguably Nigeria is the largest market in sub-Saharan Africa after Kenya and of course South Africa.

Interestingly here, Sabre has taken a leaf out of Worldspan's book and established a GSA in the market rather than risking its own corporate entity. I can just imagine the chaps in the Texas bunker getting this request from London!!!

Best of luck - count your fingers when you do this!




Anonymous said...

What a biased piece of writing. Have you ever been to Nigeria. I moved here from the states and travel almost every weekend and never have I gotten any kind of fake tickets like you describe, never even heard of it till today. Most ticketing is done from Airline offices which are spread throughout the country.
Not sure where you are getting your info from

The Professor said...

I stand by my writing. The nature of fraud in Nigeria is broad and rampant. As a result, setting up secure forms of payment are not easy. I applaud Sabre's decision to do this. It will create a more professional environment for the market. Nigeria has made great strides in addressing its ills - such as the issue of air safety and are to be complemented.

Sources - take your pick - OECD, WEF etc etc

Remember that this is in comparison to other markets.

Is Nigeria better or worse than say Russia or Brazil? probably equal in terms of how fraud is committed. In terms of security of the transaction all these markets are inferior to say the UK and the US. Doesn't make them that much better. You just have to do things differently.

If you wish to contact me directly and continue the conversation outside of your Anon posting - please feel free.

The Professor