Yuletide: FG approves more flight slots for African airlines

The Federal Government has approved additional flight frequencies for some African airlines operating in Nigeria for the Christmas period.

The Director, Consumer Protection, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Adamu Abdullahi, who made this known, said during the yuletide, many Nigerians travel and some airlines deploy certain aircraft not big enough to accommodate both passengers and their luggage.

He said African airlines including Royal Air Maroc, Egypt Air and some others had been granted permission by the Federal Government to operate additional flights and use wide-bodied aircraft to cater to their passengers’ needs.

Abdullahi said, “African airlines come into this country with Boeing 737s but even if it is 800 series, it will not carry much luggage.

“Nigerians travel heavy; you can see one passenger carrying 20 bags. So, the way around it is to ensure that whatever additional flights these airlines ask for, they get.”

According to him, the NCAA is in the forefront of ensuring the Ministry of Aviation grants the request so that passengers can have their luggage in time and avoid the problem of not arriving their destinations with their luggage.

He said, “Normally, during this period the ministry considers and gives them permission to fly in with bigger aircraft. So, even if it is once or twice a week, they can get a wide-bodied into the country  and most of the luggage will still come.

“In addition, some of the airlines like the Royal Air Maroc also requested for cargo flights and this is essential to carry passengers’ luggage and make sure that they come in time so that the passengers will have their baggage for the yuletide season.”

He noted that with the concession granted the airlines, he was optimistic that the problem of delayed or missing luggage during the Christmas season would be addressed.

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