Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, announced on Tuesday that airlines will start compensating passengers for delayed or cancelled flights from January 2024.
The minister disclosed this during a session with the Joint National Assembly Committee on Aviation, where he defended his ministry’s budget for the fiscal year 2024.
Keyamo revealed that a comprehensive list of airlines responsible for delayed or cancelled flights would be regularly published in the media as part of the compensation initiative.
He emphasized the need for transparency in informing the public about airline performance, including details such as the duration of delays and actions taken by regulators.
“I have called the customer’s satisfactory commission regarding the treatment of Nigerians. I have returned to the committee; that is how concerned I am. And I have said at the last address that I gave during our stakeholders meeting in Lagos and our retreat in Warri”, he said.
”I said on a weekly basis; please publish the list of airlines that do not fly as and when due, cancelled flights, delayed flights, how many hours it was delayed, was there compensation, and actions they took as regulators against these airlines. We are starting that in January,” Keyamo stated.
As part of the compensation strategy, Keyamo proposed a deduction from the flight tickets of airlines responsible for delays.
He suggested a discount be applied to tickets purchased by passengers affected by delays or cancellations.
“For every delay, there is a report, an actual report by the regulator. What did they do? Did they pay compensation? And if they didn’t pay compensation, we have said that the other way to get compensation if they can’t return cash is that once the passenger buys the next ticket, it must be given a rebate. The minister said that passengers must be given a 50 per cent rebate or 40 per cent rebate because there must be a rebate”.
Keyamo emphasized the necessity of private partnerships for developing Nigerian airports, citing the lack of funds for independent government initiatives.
Public-Private Partnership must come to the fore. It is not even negotiable; we don’t have the funds to do so. In concession, we will give the people what we want, not what they want. We have to decide what we want.
“It is the nature, the quality of the concession that all of us will agree on. We want to go ahead, but I want everyone to sit down, look for the best hands, and go to the end of this world to look for the best and the best thing for Nigeria and raise our offer to tier one, not tier two. Tier one investors to come to Nigeria and build our gateway for us.”