The Federal Competiton & Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), has warned airlines against continued sales of tickets for a service they won’t render.
The agency’s executive vice chairman, Babatunde Irukera, gave this warning against the backdrop of the recent threat by Airline operators under the aegis of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), on Friday, to down tools next week over the astronomical rise in the price of aviation fuel, also known as, Jet A1 from N170 to N700.
The airlines that threatened to shut operations are Dana, Azman, Arik, Air Peace, Dana Air, United Nigeria Airline, Overland Airways, and Aero Contractor.
The FCCPC boss said the commission is concerned with consumers’ feedback that airlines have continued to sell tickets beyond the date announced for the proposed service shutdown.
“To the extent that this is accurate, and the airlines have decided and are resolute, it will be egregious exploitation of consumers and a violation of law to purport to sell a service that the service provider knows, it will not, or does not intend to provide or deliver. It is misleading and deceptive under S123 of the FCCPA to represent a service will be delivered on a certain date when the provider knows the same is false or improbable,” Irukera said in a statement titled, Airline Operators of Nigeria announcement to suspend domestic aviation operation on Monday, May 9th, 2022.
“The Commission is optimistic that airline operators will not deliberately sell tickets for flights they do not intend to operate, and is as such hopeful that a solution short of a shutdown will emerge accordingly.
“The Commission continues to monitor this sensitive and evolving situation and remains committed to supporting engagements to provide solutions and stability.”
He, however, charged the airlines to consider the hardship the decision to shutdown their operation will have on the people and the economy.
He said, “Commission encourages and implores domestic airlines to consider the effect of the proposed shutdown on passengers and the magnitude of difficulties and hardship associated with such an action.
“The Commission does not trivialise the disruption and potential challenge to business continuity and survivability an inordinately high cost of jet fuel presents to domestic aviation, especially coupled with other rising cost of operations and foreign exchange.”
“Indeed, the Commission has been in discussion with the leadership of major fuel marketers to understand the global supply challenges and possible steps to ameliorate same. Accordingly, the Commission strongly advocates engagement among all stakeholders across the value chain to mitigate the current constraints and develop an acceptable interim arrangement to address problems and costs associated with global supply constraints on account of a war, sanctions associated with the war, and a fragile ongoing post pandemic recovery in aviation.”