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Passenger Insistence on Immediate Flights Creates N15 Billion Loss for Airlines Annually, Says Air Peace CEO

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Air Peace Chairman, Dr. Allen Onyema

Dr. Allen Onyema, Chairman and CEO of Air Peace Limited, says passenger behavior stands as a significant contributor to flight delays in Nigeria, resulting in substantial financial losses for airlines, estimated at approximately N15 billion annually.

Drawing on the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Dr. Onyema emphasizes that, beyond weather-related issues, VIP Movement, and technical concerns, the reluctance of Nigerian travelers to reschedule canceled flights exacerbates disruptions.

He underscores the importance of embracing a rescheduling culture aligned with international standards.

The Air Peace boss points out that passengers insisting on immediate airlift after a flight cancellation cause a cascade effect, leading to weeks of delays and cancellations, adding that, airlines meticulously plan their schedules, and disruptions caused by insistent passengers create a domino effect on subsequent flights.

He emphasizes the global norm where passengers are expected to reschedule to the next available date in the event of weather-induced delays or cancellations.

Dr. Onyema stresses that this standard practice is often overlooked in Nigeria, where passengers demand immediate transportation the following day.

Providing an example, Onyema recounts an incident where weather conditions forced a diversion to Enugu, leading to a series of disruptions.

He highlights the misconception among passengers who protested against the pilot’s decision to return to base due to the closure of the destination airport at sunset.

Dr. Onyema concludes by explaining the ripple effect of such disruptions, emphasizing that rescheduling passengers disrupts multiple flights throughout the day, making recovery nearly impossible, especially when most airports close by 6:00 pm.

He urges passengers to understand and adhere to the globally accepted practice of rescheduling, promoting smoother flight operations in the Nigerian aviation industry.

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