Delays: NCAA summons Arik Air
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA has summoned the management of Arik Air to an urgent meeting over the delay of more than 14 hours of Flight W3 077 (FNA/BJL) on Friday.
. According to the General Manager Public Affairs of NCAA, Mr Fan Ndubuoke, the summon is as a result of several complaints received by the Directorate of Consumer Protection (DCP) of the NCAA from passengers, who were scheduled for Arik Air's combined service to Freetown and Banjul on Friday, 2nd May, 2014. The Flight scheduled for 8.00hrs was delayed till 10:00hrs but was later rescheduled to 12:00hrs.The departure was again moved to 15:00hrs with verbal notification from the airline officials. Nduboke explained in the statement, 'At 15:00hrs, there was an announcement that the Flight had been further delayed for one hour ''due to operational reasons.'' At 16:00hrs, the anxious passengers were once again informed of a further delay to 21:35hrs. At this stage, NCAA's Consumer Protection Officers who were on hand to intervene and caused the airline to serve the passengers light refreshment at 18:07hr' He added that when it became clear that the flight would not depart at 21:35hrs, the passengers who had become enraged took over the Boarding Gates, thereby preventing the commencement of boarding of another Arik Air service Flight W3 103 to Johannesburg. Ndubuoke explained that NCAA' s CPD officers had a hard time restoring order before Flight W3 077 (FNA/BJL) eventually departed at 23:46hrs. He also said that another Arik Flight W3 792 scheduled service from Ibadan to Abuja was similarly delayed at Ibadan Airport,Saturday,3rd May,2014. According to him, the service was to depart at 15:15hrs but it later left at 18:25hrs. Arik Air officials said calls were earlier put across to all passengers on the service to inform them of the rescheduled time of departure, a claim hotly disputed by the passengers. He said all attempts by the NCAA's Consumer Protection Officer to prevail on the airline officials to provide refreshment for the passengers were declined. Based on this he explained that NCAA has summoned the management of Arik Air to explain the circumstances that led to the long delay of the service. In addition, to determine whether the airline complied with the requirements of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs) in the treatment of the passengers on these flights.