Published On: Mon, Jul 11th, 2016



The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) yesterday denied raising air fares for local airlines, contrary to reports that new flight charges had been approved.

The aviation regulatory body said though airfares, add-on charges, tariffs and terms and condition of service are fully liberalised, but they are all subject to NCAA’s approval before coming into effect.

Spokesman for the NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, yesterday noted that airfares and sundry charges had been statutorily deregulated and subjected to market forces.

It would be recalled that local carriers had for some weeks now been considering new rates in line with the current economic realities and devaluation of naira to help them break even.

Besides, their foreign counterparts have raised fares for more than 50 per cent since the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced the flexible foreign exchange policy.

Industry watchers were of the view that raising airfares sounds a logical thing to do, but the outcome would be a reduced patronage and a huge loss for operators in the end.

 Apparently not unaware of the dilemma, the NCAA has directed that all air carriers or their agents are to file with the authority a tariff for that service showing all rates, fares and add-on charges, including the terms and conditions of free and reduced rate transportation for that service as specified.

Other requirement for airfare raise is for the carriers to obtain approval from the NCAA to introduce or increase add-on charges or surcharges such as fuel, Internet booking, insurance, security and similar surcharges prior to implementation.

After the conditions must have been met, the NCAA would therefore approve the fares accordingly.

Adurogboye further said that prior to the approval, all fares filed with the authority are subjected to breakeven analysis, adding that it is a continuous process.

He said that the analysis is to curb anti-competitive pricing and to ensure that fares are not too low as to impact on safety arising from inability to carry out pre-requisite maintenance on their aircraft.

The NCAA has, therefore, advised all airline operators and stakeholders to discountenance the reports and continue to operate on the atmosphere of liberalisation and level playing field the Federal Government of Nigeria has put in place.

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