In a significant move towards passenger rights, Minister of Aviation Festus Keyamo announced on Tuesday that the era of frustration and financial losses due to flight delays and cancellations will soon come to an end.
The minister asserted that aviation sector regulators will enforce mandatory compensation for affected passengers, marking a turning point in ensuring accountability and customer satisfaction beginning January 2024.
According to aviationmetric.com, this is coming as the Minister said that the best way to tackle infrastructure decay at many of the country’s airports is via concession, stressing that concession is not negotiable.
The Minister disclosed this when he appeared before the Joint National Assembly Committee on Aviation to defend his Ministry’s budget for the 2024 fiscal year.
“Private Partnership must come to the fore. It is not even negotiable; we don’t have the funds to do so.
“In concession, we will give the people what we want, not what they want. We have to decide what we want. It is the nature, the quality of the concession that all of us will agree on.
“We want to go ahead but I want every one of us to sit down, look for the best hands. We should go to the end of this world to look for the best and the best thing for Nigeria and raise our offer to tier one, not tier two. We want tier-one investors to come to Nigeria and build our gateway for us”.
He disclosed that a list of airlines that delayed or cancelled flights would be published in the media every week as part of the compensation scheme.
He said, “I have called the customer’s satisfactory commission regarding the treatment of Nigerians. I have gone back to the committee that is how concerned I am.
“I have said at the last address that I gave during our stakeholders meeting in Lagos and our retreat in Warri, Delta State. I said every week, please publish the list of airlines that they do not fly as at when due, canceled flights, delayed flights, how many hours it was delayed, was there compensation, and actions they took as regulator against these airlines. We are starting that in January.”
The Minister also proposed that a discount should be deducted from the flight tickets of airlines that delayed passengers as part of the compensation.
“For every delay, there is a report, an actual report by the regulator; what did they do? Did they pay compensation? And if they didn’t pay compensation we have said that the other way to get compensation if they can return cash is that once the passenger is buying the next ticket it must be given a rebate. That passenger must be given a 50 percent rebate or 40 percent rebate because they must be a rebate”.