NewsNCAA Sets Up 10-Man Committee To Monitor High Cost Of Tickets

NCAA Sets Up 10-Man Committee To Monitor High Cost Of Tickets

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February 29, (THEWILL) – In a bold move to checkmate the high cost of air tickets in the country and make travelling affordable for Nigerians, the Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Chris Najomo, has set up a 10-man Committee to look into the increasing cost.

The Committee is coming on the heels of a two-day high-level meeting held between NCAA and foreign airlines in Nigeria, on the urgent need to unblock all low inventory tickets which were hitherto blocked for over 18 months.

The 10-man committee chaired by Director of Special Duties NCAA, Mr Horatius Egua, is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the foreign airlines fully comply with the directives of the government to unblock all low inventory tickets as well as recommend appropriate pricing of tickets in Nigeria compared to similar markets in the West African sub-region.

Other members of the committee are Mr Michael Achimugu, Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection NCAA; Mr Rotimi Arogunjo, General Manager (GM) Licensing and Statistics NCAA; Mrs Ogechi Louis-Azode, Deputy General Manager (DGM) Legal Services NCAA; Mrs Susan Akporiaye, President National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA); Mrs Olaoluwa Oladipupo, Assistant General Manager (AGM) Fairs and Tariffs NCAA; Mr David-Ojuigo, Asst. Director FCCPC; Mr Yinka Folami, incoming President NANTA and Ms Florence Abebe, Chief Legal Officer FCCPC while Mrs Ifueko Abdulmalik, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) DG NCAA, is to serve as Secretary.

In the last several months, Nigerians have been made to pay higher fares on international flights unjustly as all the foreign airlines increased their flight tickets astronomically citing the high exchange rate as well as other sundry issues and also deliberately blocked low inventory tickets making travel unbearable for Nigerians.

“This is very discriminatory in nature. We cannot continue to pay higher fares compared to other countries in the sub-region that have similar distances, using the same operating aircraft. We have the market and in some cases, we have more liberal taxes. This is unacceptable and we reject this,” Egua, who represented Najomo at the meeting held between February 12 and 13, 2024, in Abuja, said.

“For instance, a distance of six hours from Ghana to London may sometimes cost about $800 while a similar distance with similar operating aircraft costs over $2000 in Nigeria. This is discriminatory and an unfair practice and we reject this in totality”, he further stated.

The NCAA, following the outcry by Nigerians over the astronomical increase in air tickets, convened the two-day meeting with the foreign airlines operating in Nigeria.

The meeting which was held at the headquarters of the NCAA, in Abuja, had in attendance representatives from the NCAA, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) and the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA) while the International Air Transport Association (IATA), made a presentation on behalf of foreign airlines.

Rising from the meeting the Authority expressed strong reservations over the high cost of fares and discriminatory practices against Nigerians by the foreign airlines and called for immediate reversal of the trend.

One of the key resolutions at the end of the meeting between the Authority, FCCPC, NANTA and the foreign airlines was for the reduction in the cost of tickets and for the airlines to unconditionally unblock all lower inventory tickets to the Nigerian market.

Following the instruction of the Authority, Lufthansa German Airlines, KLM, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, British Airways, Royal Air Maroc, RwandAir and Turkish Airlines have all released all categories of low inventory tickets while Air France has failed to comply with the directives.

However, none of the foreign airlines has reflected market reality fares in their ticket pricing as earlier directed.

About the Author

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Anthony Awunor, is a business correspondent who holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Linguistics (UNILAG). He is also an alumnus of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria Kaduna State. He lives in Lagos.

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Anthony Awunor, THEWILLhttps://thewillnews.com
Anthony Awunor, is a business correspondent who holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Linguistics (UNILAG). He is also an alumnus of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria Kaduna State. He lives in Lagos.

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