Airline operators under the auspices of the Airline Operators of Nigeria on Thursday, rejected the accusations by the National Assembly that flight delays and cancellations were caused by the domestic carriers.
Instead, they linked the flight disruptions to poor airport and navigational infrastructure, presidential movement leading to airspace closure, among other factors.
The Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Aviation had during an oversight visit to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, in Lagos recently, accused the domestic airlines of delaying passengers up to nine hours.
The Chairman of Senate aviation committee, Sam Adeyemi, also said that if the local carriers failed to sit up, foreign airlines would be invited to operate domestic flights in the country.
In a statement jointly signed by the AON President, Yunusa Abdulmunaf, and the Vice President, Allen Onyema, the group said that the comment only served to aggravate sentiments and send out the wrong message to passengers and the general public.
The statement read in part, “Commercial airlines globally, Nigeria inclusive, are set up with strict adherence to flight times. These schedules are put in place not only for the benefit of customers but also to allow the airlines maximise the use of their aircraft in order to meet up with their laid out targets over a period of time and ensure their safety and sustainability”
“While flight delays and cancellations occur all over the world, it is however instructive to note that in Nigeria, more than 80 per cent of the causes of delays and cancellations are due to factors that are neither in the control of airlines nor caused by them”