The Executive Secretary of the Africa Air Passengers Rights Association (AAPRASS), Ambassador Victor Walsh Oluwafemi has commended the move by the Federal Government to suspend the operations of Turkish Airlines in Nigeria consequent upon the perennial occurrence of poor passengers treatment by the airline.
In a press statement signed by AAPRASS Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Odaudu Joel and made available to journalists in Abuja on Friday, Amb. Oluwafemi decried the repeated cases of inequitable treatment meted on airline users in Nigeria and other parts of Africa and hailed the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for taking the appropriate action against Turkish Airlines, one of the foreign airlines operating in Nigeria.
Recent reports reveal that most recent Turkish Airlines’ flights arrived Nigeria without more than 85 per cent of passengers’ baggage on board, an ugly development which has always posed a serious threat to airport facilities as passengers engage in mob actions when they arrive the airports without their baggage.
“The way air passengers are being treated by both local and foreign airline operators in Nigeria and other parts of Africa is appalling.
“The deliberate use of small aircrafts with narrow and cramped seats which makes passengers so uncomfortable and stressed out during flights and which cannot convey passengers luggage at the same time; flight delay and cancellations, denied boarding, tarmac delays and loss of traveler’s luggage are stiff challenges confronting air users in our clime which has to be taken care of,” Amb. Oluwafemi said.
“We could recall in 2017, from the reports gathered on air passengers complaints, over 8,000 of air travelers’ luggage in Nigeria were either missing or delayed on arrival in the third quarter of that year.
“In the same vein within the period, there were over 40 stealing of passengers’ luggage at different airports across the country.
“Also, from impeccable reports gathered as at then, foreign airlines were principally culpable in the missing luggage issue.
“Documents from the Ministry of Transport showed that 8,660 of the missing luggage involved international carriers while 26 occurred on indigenous airlines”, he opined.
The AAPRASS Executive Secretary further stressed that all measures to put a stop to unfair treatment of air passengers by airline operators in Nigeria must be employed adding that AAPRASS as an organization will do its best to protect the rights of air passengers in Nigeria and Africa at large.
“This is why AAPRASS was established and has come to stay. We will collaborate with all relevant bodies in the aviation sector to ensure that air passengers are treated fairly and their rights protected”, the statement added.
Mr. Odaudu Joel
Head, Corporate Communications,
Africa Air Passengers Rights Association (AAPRASS)