Arrangements have been put in place for the festive period as the Federal Government has granted some African airlines permission to operate additional flights. The approval is for the airlines to cater for the massive passengers and luggage this festive period.
Abdullahi said that there was a need to approve more flights because during the yuletide, many Nigerians travel and some airlines deploy certain aircraft not big enough to accommodate both passengers and their luggage.
According to him, airlines such as Royal Air Maroc, Egypt Air and some other African airlines can now add flight frequencies and use wide-bodied aircraft to cater to their passengers’ needs.
“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.”
Speaking on delayed or missing luggage, Abdullahi said he was optimistic that this problem shall not prevail this festive period as it would be addressed. Also, he said the NCAA was focused on ensuring that the Ministry of Aviation was granted requests pertaining to permission to fly bigger aircraft so that passengers could have their luggage in time and avoid the problem of not arriving their destinations with their luggage.
“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,” Abdullahi added.