The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said that whenever an airline cancels a flight, passengers will soon be entitled to a full reimbursement.
Captain Musa Nuhu, NCAA Director General, stated on Channels Television’s program on Tuesday that this will become effective once a new regulation in the works is passed into law.
The director general stated that over a billion naira in aviation earnings are being lost due to flight cancellations and delays, but he did not provide a time limit to quantify the figure.
Nuhu also stated that concerted attempts were made to end the continuing strike by aviation workers at airports across the country.
Thousands of local and international passengers were stranded as protesting aviation unions grounded airports in Nigeria on Monday over the non-release of the reviewed Condition of Service, as well as the planned demolition of Dominion and EAN hangars, among other issues.
The strike, which began its second day on Tuesday, has continued to put numerous passengers at the mercy of the two opposing elephants – the Federal Government and the striking unions.
When asked if passengers might get refunds for tickets purchased prior to the strike in order to plan for alternate modes of transportation, the NCAA president stated on Tuesday, “It should be immediately.”
“We are now checking our regulations to see what has been done in the past that allows for a reimbursement if my flight is canceled.
“What we have in the new regulation that will be signed into law very soon when it’s all cleaned up is that if you cancel my flight, you should put me on another flight or give me the option of getting refund immediately so that I can make other plans.”
“Without the passengers, we don’t exist. The passengers are those who pay our salaries. Majority of the entire generated revenue of the NCAA, 80% or more, is from the 5% paid by the passengers. So, they pay our salaries,” Nuhu stated.
Flight disruptions during the strike, he claims, have resulted in direct costs for airlines and indirect losses for the economy.
“Certainly, in the billions. From direct losses to the airlines and indirect losses to the economy because when people miss their connections a lot is lost. I can’t say but I can guarantee you it’s in the billions. At least over a billion. I think I am being very conservative,” he said.