The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has threatened regulatory action against airlines maltreating passengers.
The Ag. Director General, Civil Aviation, Capt. Chris Najomo gave the warnings in a separate meeting with the management of EgyptAir and NG Eagle Airlines over regulatory breaches relating to recent poor passenger management by the airlines.
The Ag. DG who was represented at the meetings by the of Director Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, Mr. Michael Achimugu said all airlines operating in Nigeria must comply with the “Passengers’ Rights & Responsibilities and Airlines’ Obligations” under PART 19 of the NCAA regulation.
Egypt Air had short-landed bags issues on the 19th of December 2023 without proper payment of First Needs to the impacted passengers. NG Eagle, on the other hand, had multiple flight cancellations in about a week.
When the issues happened, there were no appropriate responses to both the passengers’ and the Authorities from both airlines. the need to engage them.
The Ag.DG stated clearly that the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, frowns at this unprofessional behaviour and demands a change or the airlines should be sanctioned.
“It is your duty to tell passengers on site their rights in the event of short-landed bags so they don’t come to NCAA. In fact, all the affected passengers should be informed about their luggage onboard and their First Need benefits” Capt. Najomo said.
“Also, when these issues escalate, I expect Egypt Air to issue a press statement apologizing and advising the passengers on what to do,” he said.
He demanded that the Station Manager submit to the Authority its Compliance Report on the short-landed bags adding that going forward, the NCAA Regulation on compensation must be complied it.
Dr. Nabil Fawzy, the Abuja Station Manager, of EgyptAir, said First Needs were given to the affected in different instances but he acknowledged the late response and promised to comply with the regulation going forward.
At the meeting with NG Eagle Airline on the 3rd of January, 2024, the Director said the Authority wouldn’t hesitate to activate its regulatory action on the airline if it continues to treat its passengers with contempt.
He said it is unacceptable that the airline makes itself incommunicado when it experiences flight disruptions.
“We know flight disruptions happen but when your airline experiences disruptions for whatever reason, your officers disappear. The passengers cannot even meet them for clarifications or support and even the Authority’s Consumer Protection Officers (CPOs) can’t reach your staff” he said.
“For over one week, you had too many cases. This is unacceptable. You have left so much unattended to and we are not happy about it. If this continues, the hammer has to go down. Regulatory action will have to be taken” he warned.
The Accountable Manager/MD, NG Eagle, Capt. Kiddie A. Dare apologized for the lack of communication by the airline with the passengers and the NCAA assuring the airline will not repeat the infraction.