Nigerian government to clamp down on airlines operating false departure schedules, orders refund within 14 days

The Nigerian government has threatened to sanction airlines that schedule departure times deceitfully, stressing that no air operator should display deceitful passenger departure time at its counter, advert material or on its website, and ordered that henceforth refund should be effected within 14 days

Penpushing reports that the Acting Director-General of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Chris Najomo made this clear in a statement and warned the airlines to desist from the infraction or face dire regulatory actions

The statement signed by Director of Public Affairs/Consumer Protection, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Michael Achimugu, emphasized that the authorities now run a zero-tolerance approach to regulatory infractions

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“The NCAA now runs a zero-tolerance approach to regulatory infractions. Ease of doing business is the crux of the D-G’s action plan for the NCAA. In line with that action plan, he has made processes for licensing easy for operators’, he said.

‘The time to secure AOC is now shorter and less cumbersome than it used to be in the past. The NCAA, therefore, expects reciprocity from airlines. Chief of which is world-class services to passengers’, the statement added.

Penpushing further reports that the Director General was quoted as saying that if the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), was enabling a business-friendly environment for operators, then the operators must satisfy the passengers with superior services.

‘It has come to our notice that some airlines are being reported for advertising deceitful departure times. The NCAA regulation says no airline shall display deceitful passenger departure time at its counter, advert material or on its website. We want to make it very clear that the D-GCA has directed monitoring and offenders will face serious regulatory actions’, Najomo said.

Penpushing also reports that the statement stated that the authority believes in safety, discipline, and economic regulation, evident in the recent suspension of ten permits for Non-Commercial Flights (PHCF) holders for failing to comply with the recertification advisory issued in April 2024.

The Director General while speaking about the ease of doing business environment at the, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)NCAA said the ease of business is an area the agency would continue to improve.

‘This is evident in our high score on the Presidential Enabling Business Council (PEBEC) ranking. Recently our sister agency scored 96 per cent but the NCAA scored 98.5 per cent which is an extremely high score’, he stated.

‘This is building from the commendable score of 71.04 per cent the NCAA scored during this year’s ICAO Security Audit. The numbers are improving and we will continue to do what we can to make the industry safer, and more secure for passengers and stakeholders’, he added.

Penpushing reports that Najomo on the difficulty of airline refund processes said all airline refunds must be completed without undue delays and should conclude in 14 working days regardless of the mode of purchase of the tickets.

The Director General on the suspension of ten operators’ PHCF licenses, explained that they had been advised to commence the recertification process since April 2024, but they refused to comply, leaving the agency with no option but to sanction them.

Penpushing further reports that Najomo in similar vein, discussed a recent publication, among other accusations, alleging that the law surrounding the suspension of 10 Non-Commercial Flights (PHCF) was not in vogue.

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) boss described the allegations, as based on ignorance or mischief, as fluid and unfounded, explaining that his agency’s actions were guided by the Civil Aviation Act 2022.

Penpushing also reports that he explained that the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) action was part of its mandate to ensure compliance with the civil aviation law establishing it and the attendant regulations.

The Director General added that to sanitise the sector, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) reaffirmed its stance to rid the industry of illegal charter operators who might have inspired the publication.

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