The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has asked domestic airline operators to postpone their planned service closure due to the impact on customers, problems, and suffering.
Mr Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice Chairman of the FCCPC, made the request on Saturday in an interview in Abuja.
Irukera stated that the commission was engaging both operators and the leadership of major gasoline marketers in a dialogue to better understand global supply concerns and potential solutions.
He was concerned, however, by mounting consumer criticism that airlines had continued to sell tickets through May 9, the intended service closure date.
According to him, if 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 provider knows will not or does not intend to provide or deliver.
“It is misleading and deceptive under Section 123 of the FCCPA to represent that a service will be delivered on a certain date when the provider knows the same is false or improbable”.
“If a service provider is unable to provide a service on account of its own decision, not a countervailing circumstance, the obligation for a refund is sacrosanct”.
“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 strongly encourages participation by all stakeholders across the value chain in order to alleviate present restrictions and find an acceptable interim solution.”
“This is to address challenges and costs associated with global supply limits caused by a conflict, war-related sanctions, and a fragile ongoing post-pandemic recovery in aviation,” he explained.
Irukera stated that the commission will continue to watch the sensitive and developing situation and was dedicated to supporting dialogues aimed at providing solutions and stability.
Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) announced on May 9 that they will suspend operations till further notice due to the high cost of aviation fuel and other operating expenditures.
The association, through its President, Dr Sarina Abdulmunaf, said that aviation fuel price had risen from N190 per litre to N700 currently.