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Maintain flight planning, schedules to end delays, cancellation, NCAA warns airlines

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Rising from a stakeholders’ forum in Lagos, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has given final warning to all airlines operating in Nigeria to desist from incessant flight delays and cancellations.

Though the agency failed to name sanctions for defaulters going forward, it equally declared zero tolerance for illegal practices including flight delays and cancellations.

But the forum, attended by over 13 international airlines, eight domestic airlines, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Bi-Courtney Aviation Services, saw operators blame inadequate fuel supply, airport infrastructure, traffic around the airports and unruly passengers for the multiple delays.

NCAA said it has observed that there is no day any Nigerian airport did not experience multiple flight cancellations and delays, decrying that both practices have become routine and a set-back to the industry.

Statistics from NCAA showed that the rate of flight delays in 2017 stood at 64 per cent, with local airlines often the culprit than their foreign counterparts.

However, the agency gave assurance that it would address operational challenges facing domestic airlines relating to workable times of departure.

Explaining more, the spokesperson of the NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, said the industry values its customers and had warned all airlines to always adhere to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs 2015) and Passengers Bill of Rights in their dealings.

He agreed that Nigerian passengers must get value for their money, hence, the NCAA will not restrain from applying sanctions where appropriate.

The aviation regulator further advised operators to always disseminate information to passengers on flight status and ensure they provide right care to passengers in times of delays and cancellations in line with the Nig. CARs 2015 Part 19.

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