FG Commences Investigation into Airfare Hike

A joint technical committee to investigate the recent alleged unanimous hike in airfares by domestic airlines and other consumer complaints in the aviation sector is set to be inaugurated.

It was gathered that the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission in partnership with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority would inaugurate the committee in Abuja.

The PUNCH exclusively reported on Wednesday that the Federal Government had commenced investigations into the alleged collusion by domestic airlines to fix airfares on all domestic routes.

Price-fixing is a practice whereby rival companies come to an illicit agreement not to sell goods or services below a certain price.

The report revealed that efforts were currently ongoing to unravel reasons for the sudden hike in airfares by all domestic carriers, as the airlines, aside from  Green Africa Airways, raised the airfare for a one-hour flight in economy class to as high as N50,000.

This indicated a jump of over 60 per cent, considering the fact that airfares for such tickets were between N26,000 and N30,000 a few weeks ago.

But a notice sighted in Abuja on Wednesday showed that the government through its agencies, FCCPC and NCAA, had decided to investigate the airfares hike as well as other concerns in the aviation industry.

The notice, which was made available to our correspondent, read in part, “The Executive Vice Chairman, FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, and the Director-General of the NCAA, Capt. Musa Shuaibu Nuhu, will both be inaugurating a joint technical committee that will be primarily aimed at addressing the numerous consumer issues in the aviation sector.”

In an email sighted on Tuesday, which was allegedly sent by a domestic carrier to its travel agents, the airline stated that all airlines had effected the same increase in airfares

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