AIR FARES, TARIFFS ARE LIBERALISED, NCAA

Following incessant complaints by air travellers over indiscriminate tariff  increase in the country, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has reminded stakeholders that all airlines’ tariffs for their services including fares, rates, add-on charges or terms and condition of service have been fully liberalised.

In a statement, the NCAA General Manager, Public Relations, Sam Adurogboye says the clarification has become necessary to debunk reports in some sections of the media that the NCAA has authorised airlines to increase their fares.

According to it air fares and sundry charges have been statutorily deregulated and subjected to market forces.

The NCAA said in spite of this development, it is still mandatory for all air carriers or their agents 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 in IS.18.14.1.1.

The regulatory agency added that they (the airlines and their agents)  are to obtain approval from the authority to introduce and or increase add-on charges or surcharges such as fuel, internet booking, insurance, security and similar surcharges, prior to implementation.

(i)  18.14.1.2. of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) says all tariffs are required to be filed of 18.14.1.1 and shall be done at least seven (7) days before the rates come into effect, except in the case of matching an existing rate for which no prior notification is required.

      The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) will therefore approve the fares accordingly. Prior to the approval, all fares filed with the Authority are subjected to Breakeven Analysis and this continues intermittently.

      This 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 prerequisite maintenance on their aircraft.

       On the other hand, NCAA will similarly intervene if the fares are too high to avoid overpricing that will deny the teeming passengers access to air transportation.

However, in 18.14.1.4. If an air carrier that offers a service fails to apply the fares, rates, charges or terms and conditions of carriage set out in the tariff that applies to that service, the Authority may direct it to :-

(i)   Take the corrective measures it considers appropriate; and (ii)   Pay compensation for any expense incurred by a person adversely affected by its failure to apply the fares, rates, charges or terms and conditions set out in the tariff.

Therefore, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) wishes to advice 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.