AON threatens to sue passengers for destruction of airline property
Air Operators of Nigeria (AON) has threatened to sue aggrieved airline passengers who resort to destroying property or assaulting airline staff.
The group, which is the umbrella body for all airlines operating in Nigeria, speaking in the context of the recent attack on Dana Air properties and personnel by passengers, said that these passengers will now be arrested and continued.
According to the statement signed by AON spokesperson, Professor Obiora Okonkwo, titled “AON Condemns Attack on Dana Air Property”, a copy of which has been made available to LEADERSHIP, the group has stated that such unruly passengers risk being blacklisted and also prohibited from being carried by other members of the group.
He said such legal action could take the form of a criminal action or a civil action.
AON further stated that airline users who have problems with an operator have legally sanctioned avenues to seek redress.
According to the group, the destruction of airline property and the assault of airline personnel are criminal offenses and are not among the routes sanctioned by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Federal Competitions and Consumer Protection Council ( FCCPC).
“The Air Operators of Nigeria (AON) condemns, in very strong terms, the attack on Dana Air property by passengers whose scheduled flights have been affected by the airline’s failure to complete an operational audit.
“Recall that Dana Air passengers on July 21, 2022, physically descended and damaged company property at the domestic wing of Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, following the unexpected and involuntary cancellation of their flight in which is now a case of force majeure.
“Dana Air is currently undergoing an operational audit as ordered by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). We understand that Dana Air, as a responsible member of this association, had activated its feedback mechanism to notify passengers of the development and cancellation of their flight.
“However, it is uncivilized for passengers to take legal action by destroying Dana Air property when there are approved redress mechanisms.
“As an association, AON will no longer watch passengers destroy the property of its affiliate members without adequate response. From now on, AON will activate all legal avenues available to ensure that passengers caught destroying the property of its members are brought to book and pay for this destruction.
“Once again, AON reminds consumers of its member services that no law authorizes the destruction of company property and, or, physical assault on airline personnel, as a remedy. .
“We are bold to say that such actions will be prosecuted from both a criminal and civil law perspective and may also include the blacklisting and travel banning of member airlines.
“We encourage aggrieved passengers to explore NCAA-approved remedies, including Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council (FCCPC) options, as airline personnel who are assaulted and property damaged cannot compensate for the unintended consequence. (s) flight cancellations or delays,” he said.