BARELY 24hours after the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) slammed Arik Air a N6, 000,000 and US$150 fine over passengers’ baggage, the airline is still to get its acts together as it has stranded passengers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) today without staff of the airline addressing the situation.Nigerianflightdeck.com has learnt that there were some cancelled international flights of the airline yesterday December 27, 2016 with the passenger being on ground however, the airline has also sold tickets to add more passengers going to London on W3 101, with an Estimated Time of Departure (ETD) 12.45 and Johannesburg with ETD 13.30.
At about noon today, no Arik staff is on ground to address the situation as the airline’s counters are empty with officers of the NCAA Consumer Protection Department (CPD) facing the heat as passengers threatened brimstone and fire and almost attacked staff of the CAA.
By 12.45 it was discovered that the airline had not airlifted its London bound passengers and still at 1.30 pm the situation remained the same for the Johannesburg bound passengers who were seen lying down around the airport like refugees.
As at the time of filing this report, Nigerianflightdeck.com is yet to receive any official word from the airline and efforts to reach them to ascertain why the airline has not airlifted its backlog of passengers has proved abortive.
A source at the Nigeria civil Aviation Authority confirmed to our reporter that they were watching the situation and would act accordingly.
Just yesterday, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) fined the airline N6,000,000.00(Six Million naira only) and also directed the airline to pay each affected passenger, within 30 days of the date of this letter, the sum of One Hundred and Fifty US dollars ($150) as compensation for inconveniences suffered as a result of delayed arrival of their luggage on your service.
These penalties were as a result of the airline contravening the provisions of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs), violating Part.19.7.2 of the Nig.CARs, 2015 and Part.220.127.116.11 (ii) of the Nig.CARs,2015 respectively.
In a statement made available by the NCAA, the Authority was inundated with complaints of delay and inability to ferry the passengers’ checked – in luggage on the Airline’s services from London –Lagos from the 2nd, 3rd and 4th December, 2016.
Upon receipt of the complaints, NCAA invited the airline to a meeting on the 6th of December, 2016, which was duly attended by the airlines’ representative.
However, Arik embarked on continuous flouting of the Nig.CARs and the Authority’s directives to freight all backlog of short – landed baggage to Lagos within 48 hours.
Similarly, the carrier declined to offer care and compensation to the affected passengers which were unanimously agreed for One Hundred and fifty United States dollars.
In addition, the airline did not inform the passengers at the soonest practicable time that their checked – in baggage would be off – loaded as required by Part 19.7.2 of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs),2015.
Therefore, in a Letter of Sanction with reference no. NCAA/DG/CSLA/RM/1-06/16/439 dated 22nd December, 2016; the Authority has determined that Arik Air Limited is in violation of Part 19.7.2 and 18.104.22.168 (ii) of the Nig.CARs, 2015.