The Consumer Protection Council, CPC, has summoned the management of Arik Airline to appear before it.
The summon followed complaints of alleged ill-treatment by passengers of a recent London-Abuja Arik flight. It is to allow the management of the airline provide facts relating to the allegations, the CPC said in a statement on Wednesday.
It would be recalled that Arik Air and no fewer than 40 aggrieved passengers have been at loggerheads over the non-arrival of their baggage, five days after their flight landed in Nigeria.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, the aggrieved passengers on Tuesday disrupted the airline’s operations and also allegedly damaged its check-in counter at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
Consequently, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, on Wednesday directed Arik Air to return all delayed baggage of the passengers within 24 hours and compensate the affected passengers with $150 each for their troubles.
In his reaction, the airline’s Associate Vice President, Ground Operations Department, Femi Kukoyi, apologised to the passengers.
While assuring them that an aircraft was en-route Lagos from London and would arrive with about 300 bags by 7 p.m., Mr. Kukoyi said that the remaining would be brought in by another of its aircraft by 5 a.m. on Thursday.
In its Wednesday statement, the Consumer Protection Council disclosed that those summoned to appear before it on December 19 are the airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Ikhide; the Chief Operating Officer, Conor Prendergast; and the Managing Director, Chris Ndulue.
“The said passengers, many of whom had connecting flights to Cameroon, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Ibadan could not continue their journeys as a result of the non-arrival of their luggage from London, while some passengers on the said flights could not have access to personal supplies, baby food or medication,” the statement said.
It added that “Arik Air Ltd did not provide the passengers with temporary accommodation for transit; neither was there any customer service desk to assist the passengers in resolving their individual complaints.”
The council however disclosed that it had issued the summons in line with Sections 8, 15 and 18 of its enabling Act.
It would be recalled that on December 25 and 31, 2015 as well as January 9, 2016, Turkish Airlines had similar experience with its Flight 623 from Istanbul to Abuja. It, however, refused to respond to the Council’s summons and the ultimatum of the Attorney General of the Federation, leading to criminal prosecution of the airline and two of its principal officers for alleged criminal violation of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) Act.
The Turkish Air prosecution has been fixed for February 9, 2017 for hearing.
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