The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has announced that no fewer than 19,323 flights were delayed within the country’s airspace in the first half of 2018.
Within the same period, another 348 flights were also cancelled among local and international airlines operating within and into the country.
This was made known by the Director-General of NCAA, Captain Muhtar Usman during presentation at the All Aviation Industry Information Managers’ Conference held at the agency’s annex office at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
Usman explained that out of the 19,323 flights delayed, domestic airlines had 16,880 while the remaining 2,443 was among the 33 foreign airlines operating into the country.
He also said that within the same period, domestic airline operators cancelled 253 flights while their foreign counterparts had 95 flights cancelled.
Usman further stated that within the first half of the year, 17,893 delayed and missing baggage were recorded among the international airlines while the domestic operators had 25 delayed and missing luggage.
The director general however, said the authority had warned airlines against unwarranted flight delays and cancellations, stressing that NCAA would not tolerate infringement on air travellers’ rights.
It would be recalled that flight delays and cancellations had been rampant in recent times with NCAA cautioning airlines against consistent violation of passengers’ rights.
Airlines had severally attributed inadequate infrastructure at most of the country’s airports, stressing that until the infrastructure were improved upon, the delays and cancellation would continue.
However, statistics indicate that Middle East, Qatar Air, Royal Air Maroc, Rwandair, Saudi Airline, Sudan Air, South African Airways, Turkish Airlines, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways were guilty of flight delays among the international carriers while Delta Air Lines too cancelled some flights within the period.
At the yesterday’s meeting, Usman also said within the period, 20 aircraft were registered for commercial air transport while the other 10 were registered for General Aviation (GA).
He added: “Between January and June 2018, 10 aircraft were also deregistered by NCAA while another 12 were re-registered by the authority. We also issued 30 certificates of airworthiness and another 85 certificates of airworthiness were renewed by us.
“However, in an industry like us, there is need to improve on information dissemination among information managers in the system. Also, we require integrated communication among all information managers in the system particularly during incidences and near mishaps. This is necessary for NCAA to sustain robust regulation in the Nigerian aviation industry.”