Nigeria’s flag carrier airline, Arik Air has been sanctioned by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for contravening the provisions of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs).
The aviation regulatory body explained that it had been inundated with complaints of delay and inability to ferry the passengers’ checked – in luggage on the airline’s services from London–Lagos from the 2nd, 3rd and 4th December, 2016.
Upon receipt of the complaints, the NCAA said invited the airline to a meeting on the December 6, 2016, which was duly attended by the airlines’ representative.
It said it was piqued that the embarked on continuous flouting of the Nig.CARs and the Authority’s directives to freight all backlog of short – landed baggage to Lagos within 48 hours.
Spokesman for NCAA, Sam Adurogboye told journalists that similarly, the carrier declined to offer care and compensation to the affected passengers which were unanimously agreed for One Hundred and fifty United States dollars.
He noted that in addition, the airline did not inform the passengers at the soonest practicable time that their checked – in baggage would be off – loaded as required by Part 19.7.2 of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs),2015.
Therefore, in a Letter of Sanction with reference no. NCAA/DG/CSLA/RM/1-06/16/439 dated December 22, 2016; the Authority has determined that Arik Air Limited is in violation of Part 19.7.2 and 18.104.22.168 (ii) of the Nig.CARs, 2015.
Consequent upon these, the airline has been asked to pay to the authority within Seven days of receipt of this letter, the sum of #6,000,000.00 (Six Million naira only) being civil penalty for violation of Part.19.7.2 of the Nig.CARs, 2015.
The NCAA also directed the airline to pay each affected passenger, within 30 days of the date of this letter, the sum of $150 as compensation for inconveniences suffered as a result of delayed arrival of their luggage on your service as required by Part.22.214.171.124 (ii) of the Nig.CARs,2015.
The NCAA expects strict compliance with the provisions of Part 19 of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) by the airline in future.
This is to assure all stakeholders that the Authority exist to protect their rights at all times and as such any violation of the Regulation in that regard will be viewed seriously.
The NCAA had in the wake of crises that greeted the delay of bringing passenger luggage from London penultimate 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.
Arik Air and no fewer than 40 passengers had been at loggerheads over the non-arrival of their baggage, five days after their flight landed in Nigeria.