At least, 41,963 passengers’ luggage were declared missing or delayed among 37 international and local airlines in Nigeria’s aviation industry between January and December 2019.
However, foreign airlines were the major culprits in baggage missing incidents as 41, 473 luggage belonging to passengers on international routes were delayed or missing, while the other 495 incidents occurred among eight out of nine domestic carriers in the country.
A report exclusively obtained from the Consumer Protection Directorate (CPD) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) by Daily Independent further indicated that Air France, Delta Air Lines, British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM and Royal Air Maroc were the major culprits as no fewer than 23,688 of passengers’ luggage were missing or delayed on arrival.
The report, however, indicated further that 39,080 of the passengers’ luggage were later found by the airlines involved while the other 2,883 luggage were not recovered till date.
The breakdown of the baggage loss indicated that the Dutch carrier, KLM, had the highest number of baggage loss of 5,060 between January and December, while 4,993 of the luggage were later found and returned to their owners. The other 67 luggage were never recovered.
Besides, the French carrier, Air France, emerged the second most notorious carrier in the sector in Nigeria with 4,406 of passengers’ luggage missing, with 4,314 of the luggage recovered, while 92 of the luggage were unrecovered till date.
Delta Air Lines from the United States emerged the third most notorious foreign carrier with baggage delayed or missing with its poor record of 4,413 delayed/missing luggage, while 4,310 luggage were later recovered. At least, 103 of such luggage were eventually not recovered or declared missing at the end of the year.
The British carrier, British Airways, expectedly had a poor record of missing luggage of its Nigerian passengers with 3,714 of such luggage missing or delayed on arrival, while 3,646 of the luggage were recovered. The other 68 of such luggage were never recovered till date.
It was not clear if the airline paid the required compensations to the affected passengers, as the airline also delayed 19 percent of its flights within a year in Nigeria.
Besides, the German carrier, Lufthansa Airline, recorded 3,054 of the passengers’ luggage missing or delayed on arrival, while 2,933 of such luggage were recovered, the other 121 of such luggage were not recovered, according to the report from the CPD of NCAA.
The only African carrier on the list of the poor record was Royal Air Maroc with 3,041 of missing/delayed passengers’ luggage as 2,122 of such luggage were recovered, but 919 of luggage were not recovered, according to the report.
Other airlines on the list in international operations were African World Airline, Air Cote d’voire, Air Namibia, Angola Air, Arik Air, Asky, Badr Air, Cabo Verde Air, Camair-Co, Egypt Air, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, and Etihad Airways with 1,031, 595, 66, 150, 125, 781, 19, two, 2,261, 1,935, 1,517 and 282 missing or delayed luggage, respectively.
Others on the international scene were Kenya, Meridiana, Middle East, Qatar, Rwanda, South African Airways, Turkish Air, and Virgin Atlantic Airways with 1,523, 321, 70, 527, 1,555, 827, 2,485 and 1,072 missing luggage, respectively.
However, Air Peace was among the very few airlines on the international routes in 2019 that didn’t record missing or delayed luggage within the year under review.
On the domestic scene, among the nine carriers, Air Peace had the highest number of missing/delayed luggage with 301, with the entire luggage later returned to their owners.
Aero Contractors followed with 67 missing/delayed luggage and 65 of such luggage were later recovered and returned to their owners, but the other two were not recovered, according to the report.
Others were Arik Air, 64; Azman Air, 18; Dana Air, 31; Med-View, one; Overland, one; and Max Air, 12.
Ibom Air did not record any missing or delayed luggage in 2019. However, all the missing or delayed luggage recorded in the local scene were recovered and returned to their owners, except the two recorded by Aero Contractors.
By Olusegun Koiki