Cheap Fares May Endanger Passengers’ Safety, Nigerians Warn NCAA | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Cheap Fares May Endanger Passengers’ Safety, Nigerians Warn NCAA

NCAA, airline operators
Posted: Jul 21, 2016 at 6:21 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Andrew Utulu

Lagos – The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has been urged to fix the minimum fare chargeable by airlines in the country to avoid endangering the lives of passengers.

Speaking on the recent reduction of fares on Lagos-Owerri route by some airlines to between N11,000 and N12,000, Capt. Rwang Pam of XEJET said the development could eventually pose a danger to the safety of passengers.

He insisted that the fares could not sustain the airlines, leading to some of them cutting corners.

Also commenting, Mr. Samuel Babatunde, a frequent flyer, warned that the development could compromise the safety of passengers.

He said, “It is not in doubt that airlines in the country are operating under very difficult circumstances. The situation has even become worse with the foreign exchange and aviation fuel crises airlines in the country are now facing. This has pushed the operational costs of airlines up.

“Given the difficult conditions under which airlines now operate in the country, it is surprising that some of them could resort to charging ridiculously low fares just to outdo one another.

“Although this should normally be something the flying public should be happy about, the danger this practice poses to the safety of passengers cannot be wished away. How can an airline charge N11,000 for a trip from Lagos to Owerri without compromising passengers’ safety?

“I think NCAA should urgently look at the issue and set the minimum fares on the different routes to avoid a return to the era of plane crashes in the country. While the cut in fares may be good, passengers’ safety should not be compromised under any guise.”

In his own reaction, Aliyu Saleh, a businessman, said it was difficult to explain why some airlines decided to cut their fares at a time flyers were expecting an increment because of the nation’s economic challenges and the rising operational costs of airlines.


“There is no way an airline would charge fares as low as N11,000 and N12,000 for routes such as Lagos-Owerri without compromising passengers’ safety. Airlines should not in the name of competition risk the lives of flyers. I don’t see how the airlines can maintain their planes with these unbelievably low fares,” he insisted.

Mr. Chike Ogbonna, however, dismissed the low fares charged by the airlines, saying the practice was fraudulent. He said some of the airlines had made it impossible for passengers to take advantage of the low fares they claimed they were charging.

His words: “The claim of low fares by some airlines in the country is only a gimmick to attract customers. Most of the time, it is difficult for majority of passengers to book at these ridiculously low fares. For me, NCAA should immediately step in to check the trend.

“I also completely agree that there is no way an airline will charge between N11,000 and N12,000 for a flight from Lagos to Owerri and still be able to mobilise enough resources to maintain its planes. The regulatory authorities must ensure that this fraudulent practice does not endanger the lives of the people.”