The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) yesterday directed Arik Air to return luggage of its London-Lagos passengers within 24 hours.The apex aviation regulatory body also directed the airline to compensate scores of passengers that could not retrieve their baggage as at yesterday. Each passenger is to be compensated with $150 (N60, 000) for every 24-hour of delay, according to aviation rules.
NCAA’s Director of Consumer Complaints Department, Adamu Abdullahi, urged aggrieved passengers to remain calm as the authorities work hard to resolve the issue.
Abdullahi confirmed that the agency has directed Arik to compensate every passenger of $150 in consonance with extant laws.He said: “We have sent the letter to the airline and it also contains a directive that every bag must be here within the next 24 hours.
“A directive is a directive and we will hold Arik Air’s management responsible, and I can assure you that they will abide by the directive.”The management, however, blamed the incident on the use of a smaller aircraft, a Boeing 737-800 on the route, due to maintenance on the wide-body allocated A330-200 plane.
Spokesperson for the airline, Banji Ola, said the airline’s Airbus A330-200 aircraft had been hit by a handling company in New York, necessitating the deployment of the B737-800 on the Lagos-London route.
In a related development, the Consumers’ Protection Council (CPC) has summoned the management of Arik to explain the ugly development and alleged poor treatment of Nigerian passengers that patronised the airline.
Scores of London -Lagos passengers on Sunday and Monday arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos without their luggage. As at yesterday, some of the passengers were yet to retrieve their luggage.