The federal government has revealed intentions to invoke provisions of the Act establishing the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to compel airline operators in the country to start paying compensation for delayed and cancelled flights.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo (SAN) made the disclosure on Monday while stressing that the FG would compel airlines to pay compensation for delayed and cancelled flights not caused by nature.
“You have blamed the government and a few things we do. But I also want to say that it is not all the time that it is government. At times, you say you were waiting for passengers to finish passing through the screening machine.
“At times, they have finished passing through screening machines. They wait in the lounge for five hours and you cancel your flight. So, you see, after some time, we will start implementing the provisions of the NCAA Act. You know, Nigerians don’t know there is compensation for delay.
“If it is an act of God, you cannot pay. But if it is human fault, the NCAA Act says you will pay. So, for all airline operators, while I have praised and supported you, I will also support Nigerians. You will pay them. After some time, I will put my feet on the ground. Pay them when you delay, cancel their flight,” Keyamo said.
TNG reports domestic airlines under the aegis of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), on Monday, demanded that the FG should allow airline operators in the country to procure the requisite licence for the importation and distribution of aviation fuel, popularly called Jet A1.
AON also asked the government to provide a dedicated support line for domestic airlines to access foreign exchange from the Central Bank of Nigeria in order to enable the carriers to meet their obligations to air travellers.
They made the call during a courtesy visit on the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development at his office in Abuja.
The President, AON, Abdulmunaf Yunusa, said the purpose of the visit was to brief the minister about the challenges in the sector and proffer solutions, as well as congratulate him on his recent appointment as minister.
He said, “There is an urgent need to facilitate the liberalisation, procurement and distribution of JetA1 nationwide and allow AON to procure requisite licence for product importation and distribution and also immediate review of all industry taxes, fees and charges to determine applicability in line with cost recovery model.”
“We call on the Federal Government to establish and provide a dedicated support line for domestic airline operators to have unfettered access of foreign exchange through the Central Bank of Nigeria at the official I & E window in support of local and international transactions,” he stated.
Responding, Keyamo said the challenge of forex had been lingering, but promised his guests that “the ministry will liaise with the CBN to see how operators can get forex at a single-digit interest rate of 1.5 to two per cent as requested.”