The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Tuesday said it will not hesitate to sanction any airline that cancels flight unnecessarily saying the spate of cancellation in recent times is worrisome.
The Authority, which expresses concern over increase in the spate of flight cancellations in the country, noted through its spokesman, Sam Adurogboye that several reports from the Consumer Protection Officers (CPOs) and aggrieved passengers have inundated NCAA’s offices from across the nation’s airports.
He added that even-though, the Regulatory Authority is very much aware of the prevailing challenges as regards aviation fuel, it is expected that the Airlines should follow strictly the requirements Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs)in carrying out their operations.
According to him, ‘The circumstances should not open a window for outright impunity and a flurry of cancellations which has consequently rendered air travel in the country a nightmarish experience.
“All Airline Operators are therefore warned to adhere to the Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs) while dealing with passengers. Many of whom have parted with their hard earned cash in return for comfort and value while commuting to their destinations”, he said.
He explained further that sufficient notice must be accorded all intending passengers prior to any operational cancellation, adding that where there is a delay in the service, passengers must be duly informed and light refreshment provided.
Operators, he said, are advised to ensure tickets are not sold to air travellers when there are perceived or real hitches concerning sourcing of aviation fuel (Jet A1).
“While NCAA is not unmindful of the efforts being made by the Airlines to avoid operational hiccups, passengers are similarly enjoined to exercise restraint and cooperate with airline officials during eventualities.
“It is noteworthy that the Federal Government of Nigeria is already taking measures that would ameliorate the paucity of Jet A1.These steps would guarantee availability and allow operators provide adequate services.
“However, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) wishes to reiterate that all airlines should henceforth guard against frequent flight cancellations that will jeopardise the conditions of carriage agreed with the passengers. The Authority has therefore intensified monitoring at all the nation’s airports.
“Subsequently, any unjustifiable or avoidable flight cancellation will be viewed with utmost seriousness and where culpability is established very stiff sanctions will be applied”, he added.
By: Sade Williams