FG’s 10-man panel to investigate airlines over fare hike

Bisola David
Bisola David
FG's 10-man panel to investigate airlines over fare hike

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority’s CEO, Chris Najomo, has appointed a 10-member committee to investigate international airlines over their exorbitant charges in an effort to lower the cost of air travel for Nigerians.

The PUNCH stated that, this was revealed in a news release sent to media on Thursday and signed by NCAA Director-General Chris Najomo. The meeting, which lasted two days and took place at the NCAA headquarters in Abuja, involved the NCAA and international airlines.

The committee, which is led by NCAA Director of Special Duties Horatius Egua, seeks to guarantee that international airlines follow government orders to unlock low-inventory tickets that have been unavailable for more than 18 months and to suggest fair ticket prices in Nigeria in comparison to comparable markets in the sub region of West Africa.

In addition, the committee consists of the following individuals: President of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies, Susan Akporiaye, Assistant Director of the Fairs and Tariffs NCAA, David-Ojuigo, the incoming President of NANTA, Yinka Folami, Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection NCAA, Michael Achimugu, General Manager, Licensing and Statistics NCAA, Rotimi Arogunjo, Deputy General Manager, Legal Services NCAA, Ogechi Louis-Azode and Chief Legal Officer FCCPC, Florence Abebe as well as Senior Special Assistant, DG, NCAA is to serve as secretary, Ifueko Abdulmalik.

Fair pricing is essential, as Egua emphasized and it is very discriminating. We are unable to keep paying more for flights on the same operational aircraft as other nations in the sub-region that have comparable distances.

We have the market and depending on the situation, more lenient taxation. We find this intolerable and vehemently disagree with it.

He clarified, saying that, “for example, a six-hour flight from Ghana to London may occasionally cost around $800, whereas a similar flight in Nigeria would cost more than $2000 with comparable aircraft. We completely condemn this behaviour since it is unjust and discriminatory.

“Over the past few months, Nigerians have been unfairly forced to pay higher prices for international flights as all foreign airlines have dramatically raised their ticket prices, citing high exchange rates and other unspecified problems. Additionally, these airlines have purposefully blocked tickets with low inventory, making travel intolerable for Nigerians.”

The NCAA called the two-day conference with the international airlines that operate in Nigeria in response to the uproar from Nigerians over the outrageous spike in flight tickets.

The National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, and the International Air Transport Association, which represented the international airlines, were present at the conference.

The authorities voiced caution and sought an urgent reversal of the trend, expressing great worry over discriminatory tactics and increased charges.

A number of important resolutions were passed during the conference, including one requiring the NCAA, FCCPC, NANTA and foreign airlines to cut ticket prices and unconditionally remove lower inventory tickets from the Nigerian market.

Several overseas airlines have allegedly offered all types of low-inventory tickets in response to the NCAA’s request. These airlines include Lufthansa German Airlines, KLM, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, British Airways, Royal Air Maroc, RwandAir, and Turkish Airlines.

According to reports, Najomo promised Nigerians that the NCAA will work hard to safeguard their rights.

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