Nigerian airlines have been warned by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authorities (NCAA) to refrain from selling tickets to potential passengers in the event of unconfirmed flights due to a scarcity of aviation fuel (Jet A1) in the country. The Aviation fuel scarcity has been identified as the cause of the sudden increase in the number of cancelled flights in Nigeria in the past month, which has left airports overcrowded with unsatisfied passengers.
Nigeria’s current economic crisis resulted in a shortage of aviation fuel, along with other types of fuels. Knowing how inconvenient it is to have a flight cancelled, the recent deterioration of the situation has seen Nigerians become more vocal about their predicament to aviation authorities.
In light of this unpleasant development, the NCAA has stated that Nigerian airlines involved in unnecessary and avoidable flight cancellations to the detriment of its intending passengers will be faced with “very stiff sanctions.” However, if a cancellation proves inevitable, the passengers are to be given sufficient prior notice and catered to accordingly.
The aviation body also commented that while it is aware of the present difficulties in procuring aviation fuel in Nigeria, many airlines are simply abusing the disadvantage without any regard for the provisions of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation.
According to the NCAA’s Consumer Protection Department, the first quarter of 2016 has witnessed 281 cases of cancelled domestic flights with around 10,000 flights delayed. And another common phenomenon with airlines in Nigeria is the absence of compensation for the passengers when these types of incidences occur.
NCAA spokesman, Sam Adurogboye, noted that Nigerians need to play their own parts in ensuring that they know their aviation rights and pursue them to the fullest in order to receive the compensations due them. This is especially important as airlines will most certainly never offer to pay damages in the event of a flight cancellation or delay. According to his observation, Nigerians view the process of laying an official complaint as too tedious, thereby letting airlines get away with cavalier attitudes towards serving their customers.
Currently, the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) have announced that the fuel shortage issue is being addressed, as vessels carrying the Jet A1 fuel are now available in the country for distribution.
Listen to the podcast below for more insight: