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The observed rising cases of baggage loss and theft may have caught the attention of the government as the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Wednesday directed Arik Air to return all delayed baggage of its passengers from London to Lagos within the next 24 hours.
The directive was issued by the Director, Consumer Complaints Department, NCAA, Mr. Adamu Abdullahi, who also directed the airline to compensate the affected passengers with $150 each for their troubles.
Business Hilights recalls that Arik Air and no fewer than 40 passengers have been at loggerheads over the non-arrival of their baggage, five days after their flight landed in Nigeria.
Investigations show that the frustrated passengers had on Tuesday this week disrupted the airline’s operations and also allegedly damaged its check-in counter at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
But addressing the passengers, Abdullahi appealed to them to remain calm as both Arik Air and the aviation authorities were working towards resolving the issue.
As part of finding an adhoc relief for the aggrieved London-Lagos passengers the “NCAA has directed Arik Air to pay each and every passenger a compensation of $150 each in line with civil aviation rules and regulations in Nigeria”.
“We have sent the letter to the airline and it also contains a directive that every bag must be here within the next 24 hours.
“A directive is a directive and we will hold Arik Air management responsible, and I can assure you that they will abide by the directive.”
Besides, the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Mr. Saleh Dunoma, urged those who needed medical attention to visit the FAAN clinic within the airport.
FAAN said the doctors had been directed to issue prescription drugs to passengers whose medications had yet to arrive the country due to the delay.
Reacting to the directive, Associate Vice President, Ground Operations Department at Arik Air, Mr. Femi Kukoyi, apologised to the passengers for the inconvenience caused by the incident, saying the airline had to charter an aircraft which brought some of the baggage to Lagos on Wednesday morning because the passengers prevented it from operating its A330 aircraft on Tuesday.
Kukoyi disclosed further that arrangements had been made for an aircraft was en-route Lagos from London and would arrive with about 300 bags by 7.pm while the remaining would be brought in by another of its aircraft by 5.am on Thursday.
On the issue of compensation, he said Arik Air would attend to them on an individual basis and expressed optimism that everything would be resolved amicably.
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