The Chief Executive Officer, Belujane Konzult, Mr Chris Aligbe, has described the maltreatment suffered by Nigerian travellers in the hands of foreign airlines during the flight diversions about a week ago as unfair.
He lamented that the foreign carriers treated its Nigerian passengers badly during the period.
Recalled that due to the inclement weather conditions for the most part of two weeks ago, some of the foreign airlines couldn’t land in Lagos and diverted their flights to the neighbouring African country, Ghana.
In the process, British Airways, for instance, told some of its passengers to find their ways to Nigeria and promised to reimburse them later.
Some of the passengers had cried foul and had to return to Lagos from Ghana road transport, while the airline claimed it made available to the passengers a Boeing 767 aircraft to airlift them to Lagos.
He said: “It is unfortunate with what happened with the Instrument Landing System (ILS) because I think the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) removed the Category Two (CAT 2), but they didn’t finish installing the CAT 3 before what happened. If CAT Two had not been removed, it won’t be as severe as it was. So, it’s a question of timing element and it happened when they were in this process.
“But, what the airlines did, which I think was very unfair, they took it out on the Nigerian passengers what they felt they suffered. They now took it out on the Nigerian passengers. I hope Nigerians will know that when we get Nigerian carriers on the routes, they should switch and remember what happened to them during this period.”
Besides, Aligbe further charged the Federal Government to grant the airline sub-sector in Nigeria infant status.
He explained that with such declaration would help the airlines to stabilise and compete with their counterparts outside the country.
He said that during this period, some taxes and charges would either be reduced or eliminated for the airlines for a period of five to 10 years.
“The Nigerian airline sub-sector still remains infants. The airlines should be declared infants and many things go with this. It has to do with taxes that you will cut off, supports in charges for a period of five to10 years, the infant industry status is created and you give them all the privileges and if after 10 years, you cannot grow up, you stop being an infant.
“If you want to then die, you can die. But, for the 10 years, the infant status should be there to help them stabilise and grow,” he said.