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As flight delays and cancellations are continuing to surge in Nigeria, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo has directed the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to begin the weekly compilation and publication of all airlines engaged in a menace that is fast taking the joy out of air travel.
A visibly angry Keyamo who spoke at the aviation stakeholders’ forum at the weekend said he had been inundated with calls from many Nigerians over incessant flight delays and cancellations, saying that the industry cannot continue to operate the way it is currently.
The Minister stated that the publication should contain reasons for delays and cancellations so that passengers would know why their flights are delayed or cancelled while urging the Consumer Protection Directorate to step up its game in the area of consumer protection which is now almost nonexistent.
“I have listened to the airlines on some of the challenges they have which truly cause flight delays and cancellations like bad weather, infrastructure challenges, and other issues. I agree that there are issues, but these problems cannot just be attributed to bad weather. Bad weather does not happen on every flight. There are serious that the airlines should own up that they have.”
“DG NCAA, I want you to begin compilation and publication in-house of flight delays and cancellations and bad treatment meted out to airlines and let people see the reasons why their flights are delayed. It is inconceivable for airlines to delay flights for more than eight hours without refreshments to the stranded passengers and how to quickly get their refund.”
The Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu agreed with the Minister and assured him that the airlines’ performance index would be done and made available to the public.
There are indications that the NCAA may go further to publish delays and cancellations of flights by airlines in national newspapers; an action stakeholders said would spur improvement in service delivery.
Recall that a summary report of air transport operations in Nigeria involving international, domestic, and regional flights in July shows that Nigeria is indeed a big market for air transportation not only in West Africa but in Africa.
An executive summary report of the NCAA on international and domestic flight operations from January to March 2023 (Q1 2023) shows that a number of 3, 073 flights operated on international routes while 182, 88 flights operated on domestic routes.
Aviation media consultant and CEO of Belujane Consult, Mr. Chris Azu Aligbe put the delays caused by the airlines at about 70% while the delays caused by extraneous forces beyond the control are about 30%.
He said, “It is when we start publishing the thing that we will see the difference. I believe that is the right direction. It is good that the minister is asking them to publish it and it is what they used to rate airlines.Google+