The Consumer Protection Council has called on regulatory agencies to conduct thorough audit on airlines to ensure safe operations and passenger satisfaction.
The Director-General of CPC, Babatunde Irukera, said this in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja.
Irukera’s call followed an emergency landing of Arik Air Flight W3304 at Kotoka International Airport, Accra, Ghana on Tuesday evening.
He said: “On March 6, Arik Air Flight W3304 departed Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos for Kotoka International Airport, Accra at approximately 19:15hrs for a 55-minute flight.
“The flight was operated by a Dash 8 Q400 turbo propeller aircraft.
“Close to arrival and approximately 81 miles from Accra, passengers reported smoke in the cabin of the aircraft.
“The captain confirmed that there was smoke in the cabin from an unknown source, but secured the operation of the aircraft and declared an emergency and landed the aircraft in accordance with emergency landing procedures.”
He, however, said all the passengers and crew disembarked safely and ultimately received their baggage.
Irukera urged relevant aviation authorities to ensure full compliance with local and other applicable consumer protection laws, regulations and protocols particularly, but not limited to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations Part 19.
The CPC boss acknowledged efforts of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority in this direction, insisting that the efforts should be reinforced to avoid incidents in the sector and to sustain consumer confidence.
Irukera said: “Although, there have been reported accidents in world aviation in recent times and incidents in Nigeria, CPC understand that NCAA is exercising additional scrutiny and precaution to continue to ensure safe operations and passenger satisfaction.
“CPC welcomes this assurance, while underscoring the importance of such efforts to avoid incidents and sustain consumer confidence in the sector.”
He said the commission understood that Ghanaian aviation authorities had been notified and were in charge of inquiring into and investigating the incident, adding that the aircraft remained on ground in Accra.
Irukera also commended the Federal Executive Council for its unprecedented attention and action in directing a safety audit of a domestic airline involved in an incident.
He, however, advised consumers to always “exercise their rights by demanding and insisting on appropriate services and providing timely information to relevant authorities in the event of irregularities”.