FCCPC, NCAA set joint committee to address high airfares, flight delays

Mr Babatunde Irukera

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) have set up a joint technical committee to address consumer-related issues in the aviation industry.

The Executive Vice Chairman of FCCPC, Mr Babatunde Irukera, said in Abuja on Thursday.

Irukera said that the issues to be addressed include fairness, insensitive delays and cancellation of flights.

He added that other issues to be addressed were level of responsiveness of airlines when unavoidable delays and cancellations occurred and coordinated conduct in restraining competition in the industry.

Irukera regretted that aviation was one industry where the commission had received high number of complaints and dissatisfactions.

“What we are doing here is something that has been on the works and this is quite a time to strengthen the collaboration between the FCCPC and NCAA.

“Immediately the information about the increase in airfare came to us, we immediately set out to consider the best approach which is to start by engaging you (NCAA).

“What we did not anticipate was the share volume of responses from the public, the level of aggravation and despondence.

“As regulators from the competition standpoint, while we believe that businesses want to operate in a way that shares prosperity, their priority is the bottom-line.

“I am hopeful that our work together will intervene in that space to work with the airlines, to collaborate with them (airlines) to develop a more robust, sensitive and timely framework for how they do their business,’’ he said.

Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Director-General of NCAA, said that the authority would work collaboratively with the FCCPC and all the stakeholders in the industry to address the issues.

Nuhu said the committee would work toward ensuring fairness and protection of passengers in terms of airline cancellations and delays as well as airfare increases.

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“In our regulations, airfares are deregulated subject to meeting certain conditions.

“The airlines are supposed to submit information to the NCAA at least seven days before any increase and we are supposed to review and see the increases considering several factors that are used to determine these airfares.

“Where we see that the processes are not complied with, either FCCPC or NCCAA, will ensure that these are complied with,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that aviation related complaints topped third highest in the number of complaints received by the FCCPC in 2021.

 

(NAN)

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