By Daniel Eteghe
The Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demuren, has disclosed that air passengers in the country are yet to enjoy the benefits of Category One status (CAT 1) due to the ways passengers are treated by airlines operators.
Speaking during the inaugural lecture of the Aviation Associates Club, Dr. Demuren noted that passengers still suffer a lot of inconveniences ranging from flight cancellation, flight delays and ill treatment which could affect safety.
He, however, advised that all airlines must be forced to come together as a clearing house where a ticket of a particular airline could be used to fly in another airline if there was flight cancellation or delays.
“We have not effectively given our flying public the gains of CAT1 that is what we need to do, safety, security, friendly environment and consumer protection. These are the things that our passengers must enjoy because it goes with CAT1.
“For instance, if you go to the airport, you leave here, you are going to Abuja and you say ok, you will go on Aero Contractors airline and you buy Aero Contractors ticket, if you get to the airport, and maybe Aero Contractors flight is delayed or they have cancelled their flight, you must pick out another money to buy Dana’s ticket and in case they also cancel their flight, you must take another money to buy Air Nigeria, that must stop” he stressed.
Dr. Demuren further noted that before the end of the year that all the private airlines operating in the country must form a clearing house where passengers can pick a ticket from an airline and fly on another airline in case of flight delay or cancellation.
“Before the end of this year, we will make our position very clear; all private airlines in Nigeria will join the domestic clearing house. Any ticket you see or buy, you can put it on another airline in case of flight cancellation or delays that is the way that we can move forward” he added.