Friday , 7 October 2022
Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika at the three day Public hearing on aviation agencies at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja

Minister reads riot act to airlines says they must pay full refund for over 2 hour flight delays

MINISTER of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has instructed airline operators in Nigeria to refund the full cost of travel tickets to passengers after a two-hour delay charging passengers to demand their rights whenever they are being trampled upon by airlines.

This is coming barely 48 hours after the airlines appeared before the Senate Committee on Aviation chaired by Senator Smart Adeyemi citing non-availability and rising cost of aviation fuel and inadequate parking spaces at airports as reasons airlines were always delaying and cancelling flights.

They also highlighted non-availability of forex for spare parts and maintenance, sudden change of weather, inefficient passenger access and facilitation

Sirika however on Thursday at the weekly State House Briefing in Aso Villa, Abuja read some of the rights of aviation passengers at the briefing stressing that his ministry has started sanctioning some airlines based on this monumental contractual breach.

Statistics reveal that in the first quarter of 2021 over half the flights operated were delayed with no fewer than 7,554 of the 14,662 domestic flights which operated in the country falling short.

Sirika said: “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’.

“Delay for two hours and beyond, the carrier shall reimburse passengers the full volume of their tickets. Delay between 10pm and 4am, carrier shall provide hotel accommodation, refreshment, meal, two free calls, SMS, email and transport to-and-fro airport,” adding that the same rules will apply to international flights.

The Minister however, urged passengers not to be unruly at airports.

Flight cancellations and delays have characterized 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.

Operators had earlier justified the delay and cancellations of domestic flights on non-availability and rising cost of aviation fuel, also known as JetA1 and inadequate parking spaces at airports.

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