Festus Keyamo, the Minister for Aviation and Aerospace Development in Nigeria, has announced that domestic airlines in the country will soon be required to compensate passengers for delayed or canceled flights.
This announcement came during a meeting between Keyamo and members of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) in Abuja on Monday.
In 2022, Nigerian domestic airlines reported a total of 47,144 delayed flights, with Airpeace, Overland Airways, and Azman Air ranking among the airlines with the highest number of delays.
Addressing this issue, Minister Keyamo emphasized that the federal government may soon enforce regulations compelling airlines to provide compensation to travelers as stipulated by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Act.
Keyamo stated, “On delayed flights, I want to speak for the ordinary Nigerians who complain every day about delayed, canceled flights. I know you have said all your reasons. You have blamed the government and a few things we do. But I also want to say that it is not all the time that it is government.”
He further elaborated, “At times, you say you were waiting for passengers to finish passing through the screening machine. At times, they have finished passing through screening machines. They are waiting in the lounge for five hours and you cancel your flight. So, you see, after some time, we will start implementing the provisions of the NCAA Act. You know, Nigerians don’t know there is compensation for delay. If it is an act of God, you cannot pay. But if it is human fault, the NCAA Act says you will pay. So, for all airline operators, while I have praised and supported you, I will also support Nigerians. You will pay them. After some time, I will put my feet on the ground. Pay them when you delay, cancel their flight.”
Minister Keyamo also stressed the importance of airlines maintaining effective communication channels to promptly notify passengers of flight cancellations or delays.