…debunks claims of authorizing increase in air fares
By Isaac Tersoo Agber
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has condemned reports making the rounds in some national dailies that it had authorised all indigenous airlines to increase air fares and tariffs due to high cost of operation.
In a statement signed by the spokesman of the NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, the authority announced that all airlines’ tariffs for their services including fares, rates, add-on charges or terms and condition of service are fully liberalised.
The authority said that it had no such onus to declare increment in air fares and sundry charges for airline operators, adding that such charges have been statutorily deregulated and subjected to market forces.
However, the NCAA noted that all air carriers, including their agents, must file with the Authority a tariff for that service showing all rates, fares and add-on charges, including the terms and conditions of free and reduced rate transportation for that service, as specified in IS.184.108.40.206.
It also demanded that the airlines must obtain approval from the Authority to introduce and or increase add-on charges or surcharges such as fuel, internet booking, insurance, security and similar surcharges, prior to implementation.
And in line with the IS.220.127.116.11. of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs), all tariffs are required to be filed of 18.104.22.168 and shall be done at least seven (7) days before the rates come into effect, except in the case of matching an existing rate for which no prior notification is required.
The statement enjoined all airlines to adhere to these recommendations while the NCAA does the approval of the fares and other charges through a ‘Breakeven Analysis’.
“This analysis is to curb anti-competitive pricing and to ensure that fares are not too low as to impact on safety arising from inability to carry out prerequisite maintenance on their aircraft,” the statement read.
On the other hand, the NCAA said it will intervene if the fares are too high to avoid overpricing that will deny the teeming passengers access to air transportation.
According to the provisions of 22.214.171.124, if an air carrier fails to apply the fares, rates, charges or terms and conditions of carriage set out in the tariff that applies to its service, the NCAA may decide sanctions or corrective measures it considers appropriate for such violation.
It may also demand compensation for any expense incurred by a passenger adversely affected by the airline’s failure to apply the fares, rates, charges or terms and conditions set out in the tariff.
With these statutory recommendations, the NCAA has advised all airline operators and stakeholders to discountenance the reports and continue to operate on the atmosphere of liberalisation and level playing field the Federal Government of Nigeria has put in place.