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Compensation for flight delays, cancellations to be enforced, BASA’s will be looked into if…Keyamo

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Passengers at MMIA, Lagos

Compensation for flight delays and cancellation is to be enforced soon if airline operators fail to do the needful, says, Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo.

He said, if the regulations are enforced, operators will sit up and avoid abusing the rights of passengers, adding that, the regulations are in place but never enforced.

Keyamo who stated this in a chat with reporters after an inspection of facilities at the Lagos airport on Thursday said, he would give the operators some time to put their act together before enforcing the regulations and there would be no sacred cow.

“You abuse the rights of passengers you will pay. The regulations are there, we are not enforcing them as to when you cancel flights, you delay flights, you pay some compensation to passengers, nobody is enforcing that and at some point I will give them some breathing space and I will enforce it”.

“In this job I am just telling them, this is a note to all of them, I have so many friends but in this job they will see my red eye, I have no friends. I am only responsible to the Nigerian people and absolute loyalty to Mr. President that is why I’m here”.

Keyamo also assured the government’s commitment to protecting and supporting the operators in the area of Bilateral Air Services Agreement, BASA, adding that, there have been complaints of foreign airlines operating domestic operations under the guise of BASA.

“People have been complaining about some of our BASA’s and AON came and said look you can’t come under BASA and a foreign airline comes and is hopping from one city to the other within Nigeria picking passengers and it affects their local operations”.

According to him, 90% why he is appointed is about laws and regulations and interpreting it better for Nigerians to understand.

“And I said fine, am prepared to protect the rights of local operators and in fact it is one of my cardinal objectives because we have to develop the industry and we have to protect and support our local operators and its going to be but they must give me comfort too and give the Nigerian people comfort so that’s the problem, have told them”.

The Minister promised he would look at the BASA’s but the operators must be ready to do what is expected of them.

“You said you have complains about those BASA’s yes okay I will look at them, can you for instance get into an agreement with foreign airlines whereby you sign connectivity agreement with them, pick passengers in Kano and connect them with Lagos and then they are waiting for you and you delaying four hours, can you do that, can you give me that comfort before I can look at those BASA’s for you?. If they sell 30 business class for instance for a foreign airline, pick passengers from Kano and then connect through Abuja and they are there in Abuja waiting for you, can you give us 30 business class in your aircraft, can you?. Give me those comforts. I will protect you, tell the Nigerian people you can perform. Am clear as to where I am going, I have to balance all of these interests, and am looking at all of those issues’.

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