The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, on Wednesday assured that air passengers would soon start getting 100% refunds immediately anytime an airline cancelled flight.
Flight cancellation had been a regular feature of airline operations in the country, with air passengers going through harrowing experience and delay to get their money refunded in the event of a cancelled flight.
The NCAA Director General, Capt Musa Nuhu, who spoke on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said this would become effective once a new regulation in the pipeline was signed into law.
Nuhu spoke against the backdrop of the two-day warning strike declared by labour Unions in the Aviation sector on Monday, which made many passengers have their flights delayed or miss such flights outrightly.
He said over a billion naira in Aviation earnings was being lost to flight cancellations and delays but did not give the time frame to quantify the amount.
According to him, concerted efforts were being made to resolve the ongoing strike by aviation workers at airports all over the country.
Scores of flights have been affected in the country and thousands of local and international passengers stranded as protesting aviation unions grounded airports in Nigeria on Monday over the non-release of the reviewed Condition of Service, the planned demolition of Dominion and EAN hangars, amongst sundry issues.
The industrial action, which entered day 2 on Tuesday, has continued to leave many passengers at the receiving end of the two disagreeing elephants – the Federal Government and the striking unions.
Asked if passengers can get refunds for tickets purchased earlier before the strike to make plans for alternative modes of transport, Nuhu said: “It should be immediate. We are currently reviewing our regulations to review what’s done in the past that gives some days for a refund if my flight is cancelled.
“What we have in the new regulation that will be signed into law very soon is that if you cancel my flight, you should put me on another flight or give me the option of getting a refund immediately, so I can make other plans.
“Without the passengers, we don’t exist. The passengers are those who pay our salaries. The majority of the generated revenue of the NCAA, 80 per cent or more, is from the 5 per cent paid by the passengers. So, they pay our salaries.“
resolve the current crisis.
The Unions comprising the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals, ANAP, the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, among others, embarked on strike over poor working conditions.
According to the NCAA, a meeting has been scheduled among the unions, the Head of Service, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Budget Office.
“I understand the frustration of the union but by going on strike, it is the innocent passengers that will suffer from this strike. And it is also the aviation industry, the ground handlers, the airlines that will suffer,” he stated.
ANAP chairman, Mr Abdulkarim Saidu, told newsmen yesterday, the second day of the warning strike, that airports across the country would be totally shot down should the federal government fail to heed the cry of the workers in seven days.
The warning strike ended on Tuesday