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NCAA to sanction airlines with deceitful departure schedules

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The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority has issued a stern warning to airlines involved in deceptive flight scheduling practices that mislead passengers.

This directive comes amidst rising complaints from travelers who have faced delays, flight merges, or outright cancellations due to airlines advertising flights without available aircraft.

The director of consumer protection and public affairs at NCAA, Michael Achimugu, emphasized the regulator’s stance on enforcing aviation rules to protect passengers’ rights.

“Recall that when the current NCAA acting director general assumed office, he made sure that there was ease of doing business. Right now, the time of getting AOC is quite shorter and easier compared to years ago. Therefore, the NCAA expects reciprocity from operators, chief of them being to provide world-class services to passengers. If the NCAA is making it easier for operators to work, it is expected that passengers must be satisfied,” Achimugu stated.

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He reiterated that deceptive flight scheduling violates NCAA regulations, specifically under Part 19, which prohibits airlines from misleading passengers about departure times.

“To address this issue, the DG NCAA has directed our officers and inspectors to monitor airline activities closely. Any airline found violating these regulations will face severe sanctions,” Achimugu warned.

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In addition to flight scheduling concerns, Achimugu addressed delays in refunding passengers after flight cancellations, stating clear guidelines for refunds based on payment methods.

“The standard rule mandates immediate cash refunds at the terminal for cash payments, while refunds for online transactions should be processed within 14 working days. Any deviation from these rules will not be tolerated,” Achimugu clarified.

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Regarding the recent suspension of ten private jet operators for non-compliance with license recertification, Achimugu assured ongoing efforts to resolve their challenges while urging the public to await further updates.

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