The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has attributed 80% of flight delays and cancellations in Nigeria to factors that are not under the control of airlines.
This was disclosed by the President, AON, Dr. Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, via a statement issued and seen by Nairametrics.
According to him, Airlines operating in Nigeria are forced to operate in an environment that is wrought with infrastructure deficiencies that are highly disruptive to normal schedule reliability and on-time performance.
What AON is saying about delays
He stated that, “80% of the causes of delays and cancellations are due to factors that are not under the control of airlines. Airlines operating in Nigeria are forced to operate in an environment that is wrought with infrastructure deficiencies that are highly disruptive to normal schedule reliability and on-time performance.
“Some of the more prevalent causes of delays and cancellations include unavailability and rising cost of Jet A1 (which today costs above N585 per litre in Lagos, N607 in Abuja and Port Harcourt, and N685 in Kano), inadequate parking space for aircraft on the apron sometimes leading to ground accidents, inadequate screening and exit points at departure, inefficient passenger access and facilitation, natural and unforeseen circumstances such as weather and catastrophic failures (e.g. bird strikes & component failures), and restrictions caused by sunset airports among others.”
The group also reacted to recent attacks by some unruly passengers of staff of Max Air due to flight delays, as it condemned the attacks in the strongest terms.
It added, “The unfortunate development further heightens our deepest concern and worry over the increasingly deplorable state of security and the rising threat to the lives of airline staff and their properties at Nigerian airports.
“The airport vicinity is a sensitive and sacrosanct environment where people are not allowed to behave in a callous and uncontrollable manner. A situation where passengers are allowed to have access into sensitive restricted areas of the airport and attack airline staff or prevent a plane from departing to other destinations because a particular flight is delayed or cancelled puts the country in a bad light in the international community.
“Issues of delay or cancellation can be addressed in a civil manner without resorting to violence. The unruly passengers that went after Max Air and destroyed the computer reservation systems further exacerbated the problem for other passengers going to other destinations. Such acts are completely unacceptable.
“AON understands the frustrations whenever a flight is delayed or cancelled, and we apologise to passengers on behalf of airlines for such delays or cancellations. It is however instructive to note that delays happen worldwide and there are conditions that cause them.”
What you should know
It is important to note that while passengers are entitled to their rights, they also have some obligations and responsibilities. For instance, Part 19 of “Nig. CARs 2012, Vol. II” highlights some rights and responsibilities of passengers.
Item six (6) of the NCAA’s Notice on Passenger Obligations To Airlines/Service Providers requires passengers to: “Be of good behaviour at all stages of their journey,” adding that “Airlines and agencies have a zero policy for unruly behaviour.”
The notice goes further to state as follows:
- All airport and airline staff deserves to be treated with respect and courtesy. An airline reserves the right to deny boarding/disembarking a passenger for unruly behaviours.
- Passengers are prohibited from interfering with the flight crew and aircraft attendants.
- Offensive, disorderly conduct such as physical assault, verbal abuse or sexual harassment of any airline or service provider staff will attract severe punishment in addition to fines or jail terms.
Part 17.92.1 of the Nig. CARs 2012, Vol. II states that:
- “Any passenger who becomes unruly at the airport terminal or onboard an Aircraft commits an offence.” Part 17.92.2(c)(d)(e)(f) defines the word “unruly” as:
- Fighting or other disorderly conduct on board an aircraft or at the terminal building;
- Any conduct/act constituting a nuisance to other passengers;
- Disobedience of lawful instructions issued by the aircraft commander, flight crew, cabin attendants, check-in staff and/or security screening staff;
- Any conduct that endangers or is likely to endanger the safety of flight operations;
Part 17.92.3 states further that:
- “Where any passenger becomes unruly on board an aircraft or at the terminal building, the aircraft commander or airport authority shall take necessary measures including restraint where necessary:
- To protect the safety of the aircraft, terminal building or of persons or property therein, or
- To maintain good order and discipline on board or at the terminal building; and
- To enable him deliver such a person to competent authorities.