Embattled Nigerian carrier, Arik Airline has accused the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), of colluding with disgruntled passengers to disrupt the airline operations.
The airline which was earlier this week slammed a N6 million fine by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority for abandoning its passengers’ luggage in London on December 2nd, 3rd and 4th also criticized the NCAA for going public with the fine without giving the carrier a chance to respond to the allegations.
In a statement signed by the airline’s spokesman, Banji Ola, Arik Air did everything possible to ensure the London passengers got their baggage in good time. Ola said when the airline’s wide-body A330-200 aircraft was damaged by a ground handling truck, the airline deployed a B737-800 on the London route to minimise the disruption to the passengers.
“All passengers checking in from London were given a letter informing them of the capacity limitation and weight restriction on this aircraft type and advised that some of their baggage would be delayed because of this and transported on the next available flight with capacity.”
He explained that after the passengers arrived Lagos, some of them formed pressure groups and took the law into their own hands disrupting the operations of the airline, assaulting the airline’s employees and destroying its property.
“Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) security did nothing to prevent the passengers from disrupting the airline’s operations or in providing adequate security to the airline and its personnel to enable the flights to leave on time thereby preventing a quicker resolution in the recovery of baggage.”
Ola assured Nigerians that the airline would be formerly addressing each of the issues raised in the NCAA statement within the seven working days deadline stated in their letter
Recall that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in a letter of sanction with reference no. NCAA/DG/CSLA/RM/1-06/16/439 dated 22nd December, 2016; the Authority has determined that Arik Air Limited is in violation of Part 19.7.2 and 188.8.131.52 (ii) of the Nig.CARs, 2015.
Subsequently, the airline was N6,000,000.00(Six Million naira only) and also directed the airline to pay each affected passenger, within 30 days of the date of this letter, the sum of One Hundred and Fifty US dollars ($150) as compensation for inconveniences suffered as a result of delayed arrival of their luggage on your service.