The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has said feelers reaching its office suggest that some airline operators under the aegis of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), who have indicated a desire to shut down services beginning from Monday 9th May are however curiously selling tickets beyond that date.
A statement by the Federal Government agency charged with the protection of consumer interest said that it will amount to “egregious exploitation of consumers and a violation of law to purport to sell a service that the service provider knows it will not, or does not intend to provide or deliver”.
FCCPC further stated that it is misleading and deceptive under Section 123 of the Federal Competition and Protection Act to represent a service that will be delivered on a certain date when the provider knows the same is false or improbable.
Domestic airline operators under the auspices of AON a few days ago said it was practically impossible to continue to operate beyond Monday 9th May 2022 owing to the high and rising cost of jet fuel.
However, FCCPC says while it does not trivialise the disruption and potential challenge to business continuity and survivability an inordinately high cost of jet fuel presents to domestic aviation, especially coupled with another rising cost of operation and foreign exchange, it said it is exploring ways to ameliorate the situation.
” Indeed, the Commission has been in discussion with the leadership of fuel marketers to understand the global supply challenges and possible steps to ameliorate the same.
“Accordingly, the Commission strongly advocates engagement among all stakeholders across the value chain to mitigate the current constraints and develop an acceptable interim arrangement to address problems and costs associated with global supply constraints on account of a war, sanctions associated with the war, and a fragile ongoing post-pandemic recovery in aviation”.
FCCPC said it is optimistic that airline operators will not deliberately sell tickets for flights they do not intend to operate, and as such hopeful that a solution short of shut down will emerge accordingly.