NCAA orders Ethiopian Airline to stop extorting passengers
By Lawani Mikairu
THE Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, yesterday ordered Ethiopian Airlines, ET, to stop the extortion of passengers and desist forthwith the illegal collection of unauthorised charges.
This is as airline claims the charges were always refunded when a passenger was not deported.
According to Mr Sam Adurogboye, General Manager, Public Relations , NCAA; “These unauthorised charges referred to as Refundable deportation fee is put at between $75 and $150. All South Africa bound passengers on Ethiopian Airlines are compelled to pay this amount before boarding”.
Adurogboye further said NCAA has been inundated with several complaints from many passengers that have suffered this fate.
He said; “According to investigation by NCAA, all outbound passengers to South Africa from Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos and Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, transiting through Addis Ababa, are liable to pay $75 dollars.
However, if your transiting time is 24 hours or beyond, the passenger will pay $150 dollars”.
“While passengers are not given prior notice concerning these charges before arriving at the airports, some were made to sign undertaken to be responsible for all expenses incurred, if deported.
“Consequent upon this, the Ethiopian Airlines’ Country management were summoned by NCAA, where they claimed the fees were always refunded when a passenger was not deported. The Regulatory Authority has found this unacceptable and viewed it as a violation of the Authority’s extant regulations.
“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations, Nig.CARs, Part 18.4.1(iii) stipulates that “all air carriers should obtain approval from the NCAA to introduce or increase add-on charges or surcharges, prior to implementation.
“Till date, the Authority has not received any request for fare increase, tariff or add-ons from the airline.
“On this strength, Ethiopan Airlines has been ordered to stop these illegal charges with immediate effect. The Airline could take advantage of the Nig.CAR and obtain necessary approvals from the Authority if it has genuine grounds to increase fares or obtain tariffs.
“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority hereby warns all operating airlines to endeavour to adhere to the regulations in all facets of their operations. It is part of our statutory responsibilities to protect the rights of passengers and this we shall continue to do in accordance to the law,” the NCAA spokesman stressed.
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