NCAA frowns on Arik handling of Calabar flight

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has expressed displeasure over the way Arik Air handled the issues surrounding its Calabar flight on Thursday.

A statement by NCAA on Friday, said that the handling of the flight flouted consumer rights.

The statement said, “The NCAA finds the handling of the Calabar-bound flight and the passenger rights as in total contravention of the NCAA Consumer Bill of Rights.

“The Calabar-bound passengers having been delayed for over three hours in the first instance are entitled to compensation and were unfairly treated.

“Arik Airlines acted in total breach of the law. Such shabby and total disregard for passenger comfort and rights will not be tolerated and will attract appropriate sanctions.”

The agency however frowned at the actions of the passengers who blocked the airport runway, stating that it was illegal.

It said, “NCAA finds the action of the passengers against the Arik airplane and the passengers on board same flight as unacceptable and amounts to an act of illegality. It is unlawful and punishable by law. Passengers need to beware and be law-abiding.

“The NCAA will continue to monitor these infringements and will ensure compliance with the law.”

Angry passengers had on Thursday evening blocked the runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, preventing planes from taking-off or landing.

Findings by our correspondent revealed that the blockade was imposed by passengers who disembarked from an Arik Air flight that was meant to take them to the Margaret Ekpo Airport, Calabar from Abuja.

The flight that had the Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke, on board, was denied landing at the Calabar airport at about 5.30pm by the station manager due to safety concerns.

Despite pleas by the aides to the governor that the aircraft should be allowed to land, the station manager had refused, insisting that the runway lightening was poor. As a result, the pilot was left with no other choice than to return the passengers to the Abuja airport.

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