By ANTHONY AWUNOR, Lagos
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has ordered Ethiopian Airlines (ET) to stop collection of what the airline called “refundable deportation fee”, saying such fees are unauthorised by the agency. According to NCAA, these unauthorised charges referred to as “Refundedable Deportation Fee” are put at between $75 and $150 per passenger.
In an official statement issued yesterday signed by the agency’s General Manager, Public Relations, Sam Adurogboye, NCAA disclosed that all South Africa bound passengers on Ethiopian Airlines are compelled to pay this amount before boarding. The statement made available to LEADERSHIP stated that the Authority has been inundated with several complaints from many passengers that have suffered this fate.
“According to investigation by NCAA, all outbound passengers to South Africa from Murtala Mohammed International Airport, (MMIA), Lagos and Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, transiting through Addis Ababa, are liable to pay $75 dollars.However, if your transiting time is 24 hours or beyond, the passenger will pay $150 dollars.
While passengers are not given prior notice concerning these charges before arriving at the airports, some were made to sign undertaken to be responsible for all expenses incurred if deported”, NCAA stated. Consequent upon this, the Ethiopian Airlines’ Country management were summoned by NCAA, where they claimed the fees were always refunded when a passenger was not deported.
Despite the excuses, NCAA said they found such charges unacceptable and viewed it as a violation of the Authority’s extant Regulations.
NCAA noted that till date, the agency has not received any request for fare increase, tariff or add-ons from the airline. On this strength, NCAA made it clear that Ethiopan Airlines has been ordered to stop with immediate effect these illegal charges.