The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has issued a stern warning to Ethiopian Airlines to stop forthwith the unauthorized collection of deportation fee from Nigerian passengers.
NCAA accused the East African carrier of illegally collecting between $75 and $150 from Nigerian passengers.
It added that for those without such amount of money with them, Ethiopian Airlines compel them to sign an undertaking that they would be responsible for their deportation fee in case they are deported.
NCAA in a statement by Mr. Sam Adurogboye stated that this “non-refundable deportation fee” is only collected from the airlines’ passengers travelling to South Africa.
According to the statement, 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 while those that their transiting time is 24 hours or beyond, the passenger are compelled to pay $150 as non-refundable deportation fee to the airlines.
Adurogboye said the regulatory agency had been inundated with complaints from many passengers that have paid the fee, a situation, which led to independent investigation into the matter.
After its investigation, NCAA said it summoned Ethiopian Airlines’ Country management who confirmed the charge, but claimed that fees were always refunded when a passenger was not deported from the Southern African country.
NCAA has described the fee “unacceptable” and “ a violation of the authorities’ extant regulations.’”
The agency said it is yet to receive any request for fare increase, tariff or add-ons from the airline and urged the airline to take advantage of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CAR) and obtain necessary approvals from it if it has genuine grounds to increase fares or obtain tariffs.
NCAA further warned all operating airlines to or in the country to endeavor to adhere to the regulations.
However, SaharaReporters found that apart from Ethiopian Airlines, South Africa Airways also charges similar fees from Nigerian passengers, which most times are not refunded.
The South Africa airline commenced the collection of the charges in the country about 10 years ago before Ethiopian Airlines followed suit.