The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), has disclosed that a total of 7,926 delayed domestic flights were recorded between January and March 2019.
Number of cancelled flights: The number of cancelled flights, as stated in the document, was estimated at 181 by the following airlines: Aero Contractors, Arik Air, Air Peace, Azman Air, Dana Air, Med-View, Overland and Max Air.
A breakdown of the delayed flights for Q1 2019: The document stated that 14,735 flights were operated by the eight airlines in the first quarter of 2019.
Air Peace, which is number one on this list, had a total number of 3,058 delayed flights and 66 cancelled flights, out of 5,768 operated flights. This is followed by Arik Air with a total number of 1,376 delayed flights, and 32 cancelled flights out of its 3,001 flight operations.
Aero Contractors which is third on this list, had a total number of 951 delayed flights and 31 cancelled flights out of 1,535 operated flights. Also, Azman Air recorded a total number of 637 delayed and eight cancellations out of the 1,301 flights it operated during the quarter under consideration.
Dana Air also operated 919 flights with 587 delayed and 25 cancellations, while Overland recorded a total number of 421 delayed flights and 6 cancelled flights out of 612 scheduled flights.
Max Air recorded 810 delayed flights with 4 cancelled flights out of 1,416 operated flights. While Med-view reported a total number of 112 delayed flights and 9 cancelled flights out of 183 operated flights.
If the figures keep rising in the coming quarters, the Nigerian commercial airlines might just record more delayed flights by the end of the year; more than the number of delayed flights for 2018 as was reported by Nairametrics.
The reason for the delays: According to the airlines, the delays were due to operational reasons, scarcity of aviation fuel, and bad weather conditions leading to low visibility at most of the airports.
Mr Chris Iwarah, the Corporate Communications Manager of Air Peace, explained that the airlines usually notify the passengers of the development hours before the flight.
“WHAT WE DO IS TO SEND EMAILS AND TEXT MESSAGES TO THE PASSENGERS NOTIFYING THEM ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT. HOWEVER, SOME PASSENGERS PROVIDE FAKE EMAIL ADDRESSES AND INVALID PHONE NUMBERS TO AIRLINE STAFF WHILE PURCHASING THEIR TICKETS, WHICH MAKES IT DIFFICULT TO REACH THEM.
“I THINK THERE SHOULD BE A FORM OF SENSITISATION BY THE AVIATION AUTHORITIES TO AVOID THIS KIND OF SITUATION BUT LIKE I SAID BEFORE, THE SAFETY OF OUR CUSTOMERS REMAINS OUR PRIORITY.’’