…Those who assault airline staff too
The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), which is the umbrella body of all airline companies operating in Nigeria, has said that henceforth, aggrieved passengers who destroy airline property or assault airline staff, will be arrested and prosecuted.
It also said that such passengers risk blacklisting and also banned from being carried by members of the group.
The group said that such legal action may come by way of criminal action or civil suit.
Speaking in a statement made available to journalists in which the group condemned a recent attack on the property of Dana Air by passengers, the AON said that air transport users who have issues with any operator have legally sanctioned avenues to seek redress.
According to the group, destroying airline property and assaulting staff of Airline companies constitute criminal breaches and are not part of avenues sanctioned by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Federal Competitions and Consumer Protection Council (FCCPA).
The statement signed by the spokesman of the AON, Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, and titled AON Condemns Attack on Dana Air Property reads: “The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) condemns, in very strong terms, the attack on the property of Dana Air by passengers whose scheduled flights were affected by the grounding of the airline for operational audit.
“Recall that Dana Air passengers on July 21, 2022, physically descended on, and damaged, the company’s property at the domestic wing of Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, over the unexpected and unintended cancellation of their flight in what is now a force majeure.
“Dana Air is currently undergoing an operational audit as ordered by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
“We understand that Dana Air, as a responsible member of this association, had activated its feedback mechanism to inform passengers of the development and the cancellation of their flight.
“However, it is uncivilized for passengers to take laws into their hands by destroying Dana Air property when there are approved mechanisms for redress.
“As an association, AON will no longer watch passengers destroy the property of its affiliate members without adequate response.
“Henceforth, AON shall activate all available legal avenues to ensure that passengers caught destroying property of her members are brought to book and made to pay for such destructions.
“Once again, AON reminds consumers of the services of her members that no law permits the destruction of company property, and, or, physical assault on Airline staff, as redress.
“We make bold to say that such actions will be pursued from both criminal and civil law perspectives and may also include blacklisting and travel ban on member airlines.
“We encourage aggrieved passengers to explore NCAA-approved avenues for redress, including options at Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council (FCCPC), as the airline staff that is assaulted, and property that is damaged, cannot make up for whatever is the unintended consequence(s) of flight cancellations or delays.”