Eight Nigerian airlines delayed 32,121 (equivalent to 58%) of 54, 682 flights operated between January and December, 2016 and cancelled 1,207 flights, findings by Daily Trust have shown.
In the year under review, the airlines, including Aero Contractors, Arik Air, Azman Air, Med-View, Dana Air, First Nation, Air Peace and Overland, conveyed 4,024,387 in-bound passengers and 4,171,191 out-bound passengers.
According to the executive summary of the 2016 flight operations obtained exclusively by Daily Trust at the weekend, 31 international airlines also operated 15,465 flights, delayed 6,430 and cancelled 199.
Altogether they airlifted 1, 952, 657 in-bound passengers and 2,011,705 out-bound passengers last year.
Analysis of the report indicated that international airlines had a slight number of delayed and canceled flights but they had more cases of delayed or missing baggage as well as pilferage.
The high percentage of flight delays, cancellations as well as cases of missing luggage against the local and international airlines pushed up complaints received by the Directorate of Consumer Protection of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), it was learnt.
The directorate was under intense pressure towards the end of the year with passengers assaulting airline workers over flight delays, cancellations and missing luggage.
A total number of 2,236 complaints were received against foreign airlines and 71 against domestic carriers, according to the NCAA report.
There were 14,130 luggage either delayed or missing on the international route while 37,376 baggage were found even as 2,214 complaints of pilferage and discourtesy were received against the foreign carriers.
At the domestic level, Arik Air topped the list with the highest delayed or cancelled flights. The airline conveyed 1,163, 056 inbound passengers and 1,177, 176 outbound passengers in 19, 064 flights last year, delayed 10,996 representing 57.6% and cancelled 507 flights.
Aero Contractors operated 5,668 flights, delayed 3,394 and cancelled 286; Azman Air operated 4,140 flights, delayed 3, 039 and cancelled 32; Dana Air carried out 6,037 flights, delayed 3,798 and cancelled 32; Med-View operated 4,575 flights, delayed 2,648 and cancelled 100.
Also, Overland operated 2,227 flights, delayed 1,631 and cancelled 167; First Nation did 2,002 flights, delayed 634 and cancelled 21; while Air Peace did 10,969 flights, delayed 5, 543 and cancelled 72.
On the issue of missing luggage on the international route, Air France topped with 1,648 and 4,039 missing and found luggage followed by Kenya Airways with 1,169 and 2, 424 missing and found luggage.
Others are Turkish Airline which had 1,914 missing luggage, 3,133 luggage found; Emirates had 1,136 missing luggage and 2,881 found; British Airways had a record of 1,412 missing luggage and 2, 819 found; Lufthansa had 925 missing luggage and 2, 060 found; luggage found and missing on KLM flights were 2, 711 and 35 respectively while Ethiopian Airlines recorded 1, 332 missing and 1, 873 found luggage.
Director of Consumer Protection Directorate of NCAA, Mr. Adamu Abdullahi told Daily Trust that the problem with weather and scarcity of Jet A1 contributed to the high rate of flight delays and cancellations especially towards the end of the year.
According to him, flight delays and cancellations known as force majeure in aviation parlance were inevitable but some airlines failed to handle the issues properly by communicating with passengers prompting the issue to degenerate.