BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

Airlines continue ticket sales despite planned shut down

.... commission says act is violation of law, exploitative

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has said that airlines have continued to sell tickets beyond the date announced for the proposed service shutdown which is an exploitation of consumers and a violation of the law.

The Commission, however, expressed optimism that airline operators cannot suspend domestic flight operations as announced, adding that airline operators will not deliberately sell tickets for flights they do not intend to operate and as such, a solution short of a shutdown will emerge accordingly.

The commission said it has become aware of a public service announcement by Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), regarding the impracticality of continuing operations beyond Monday, May 9th, 2022, under the prevailing circumstances of the high and rising cost of jet fuel.

The Commission in a statement by Babatunde Irukera, its executive vice-chairman/chief executive officer of FCCPC, stressed that since airlines have decided and are resolute to suspend domestic flights, 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.

Domestic airline operators under the aegis of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), on Friday announced plans to shut down operations from Monday, due to the skyrocketing cost of aviation fuel, which has reached an all-time high of N700 per litre.

The statement, meanwhile, added that the Commission has been in discussion with the leadership of major fuel marketers to understand the global supply challenges and possible steps to ameliorate the same.

Read also: Ibom Air pulls out of planned airlines shutdown

The statement reads: “The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has become aware of a public service announcement by Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), regarding the impracticality of continuing operations beyond Monday, May 9th, 2022 under the prevailing circumstances of high and rising cost of jet fuel.

“The 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 the 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.”