The federal government has disclosed that it will soon issue an order compelling airline operators to embark on payment of compensation to passengers for delayed and cancelled flights not attributed to natural occurrences.
The aviation and aerospace minister, Festus Keyamo, revealed this during a meeting with airline operators in Abuja.
While claiming to be speaking for ordinary Nigerians who bemoan the daily delayed and cancelled flights, he expressed that although the airlines have asserted their reasons for such, attributing the blame to the government, it is not always the fault of the government.
He stated “At times, you say you were waiting for passengers to finish passing through the screening machine. At times, they have finished passing through screening machines. They are waiting in the lounge for five hours and you cancel your flight.”
Noting the stipulation of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Act on compensation of travellers, he stated “So, you see, after some time, we will start implementing the provisions of the NCAA Act, You know, Nigerians don’t know there is compensation for delay. If it is an act of God, you cannot pay. But if it is human fault, the NCAA Act says you will pay. So, for all airline operators, while I have praised and supported you, I will also support Nigerians. You will pay them. After some time, I will put my feet on the ground. Pay them when you delay, cancel their flight.”
Mr Keyamo urged the airline operators to develop stable and reliable communication channels to ensure passengers receive cancellation notices.