FG compels airlines to refund 100% airfares to passengers after two-hour delay

The Federal Government has issued stern warning to airlines over incessant flight delay and cancellations that have taken the joy out of air travel.

Consequently, the government has directed that operators in the country must refund the full cost of travel tickets to passengers after a two-hour delay, the Federal Government has said.

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, made this known on Thursday at the weekly State House Briefing in Aso Villa, Abuja.

He read some of the rights of aviation passengers at the briefing and charged them to demand their rights whenever they are being trampled upon by airlines.

“On domestic flights, delay beyond one hour, carrier should provide refreshment, and one telephone call, or one SMS, or one e-mail. They should send you an SMS or email or call you to say, ‘I am sorry, I am delaying for one hour’.

READ ALSO:  NiMet, NIMASA Ink MoU

“Delay for two hours and beyond, the carrier shall reimburse passengers the full volume of their tickets.

 

Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika

“Delay between 10pm and 4am, carrier shall provide hotel accommodation, refreshment, meal, two free calls, SMS, email and transport to-and-fro airport,” Sirika said, adding that the same rules apply for international flights.

The minister, who said his ministry has started sanctioning some airlines who default on consumer rights, however, urged passengers not to be unruly at airports.

Of late, flight cancellations and delays have characterised inter-city air transportation in Nigeria, with many passengers scolding the about 10 commercial airlines operating scheduled flights for keeping them waiting at airports for hours after their scheduled departure time.

READ ALSO:  Air Peace lands with burst tyre at Abuja airport

Just yesterday, the operators lamented and gave reasons why there are flight delays and in most cases cancellation when they appeared before the Senate Committee on Aviation.

have justified the delay and cancellations of domestic flights in the country, hinging the reasons on non-availability and rising cost of aviation fuel, also known as Jet A1 and inadequate parking spaces at airports.

 

Nigerian airlines

The operators, led by the Chairman of Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema, stated this when they appeared before the Senate Committee on Aviation chaired by Senator Smart Adeyemi. He also demanded the prosecution of unruly passengers at the Airports.

Onyema claimed that on several occasions, JetA1 has been very scarce nationwide and has been affecting airline operations around the country.

READ ALSO:  Air Peace to begin West Coast operations Dec 15

But, the members of the Committee kicked against the reasons presented by the operators, noting that something must be done by the operators to address the causes of delays and cancellations in domestic airline operations.

Specifically, Senator Abba Moro said that the excuses by the operators were not the tradition in other countries across the world.

Onyema disclosed that at times the operators go the extra mile to fulfill their obligation to customers by looking for fuel at the black market.

Wole Shadare