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N4bn debt: FAAN grounds five domestic airlines

 

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria on Saturday grounded five domestic airlines in Lagos in a bid to recover over N4bn owed to it by airlines in the country.

The affected airlines, some of which are said to owe the agency over N500m each in landing and parking charges at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, terminal two, are Air Nigeria, Aerocontractors Airlines, Dana Air, Chanchangi Airlines and IRS Airlines.

The development, it was learnt, led to scores of passengers being stranded just as cargoes, including newspapers meant to be flown to Abuja and other parts of the country, were also stuck at the airport.

The General Manager, Public Affairs, FAAN, Mr. Akin Olukunle, who confirmed the incident, said his agency would not relent in its quest to recover the debts.

It was learnt that FAAN officials had stormed the terminal and stopped the airlines from operating their flights making passengers, including children and the aged to remain at the terminal for several hours awaiting the next line of action.

Some of the passengers told our correspondent that they had reported to the airport as early as 6 am to fly to their destinations with the morning flight only to meet the problem on ground.

However, it was learnt that towards noon, the agency allowed the airlines to begin the checking-in and boarding of passengers.

It was learnt that FAAN had granted them a few days of grace to pay up their debts.

Olukunle said the approval was temporary, stressing that carriers which failed to pay would still be grounded.

“We are having issues with the airlines over debts. Many of them are still indebted to the authority and we have to recover our debts,” he added.

The Assistant General Secretary, Airline Operators of Nigeria, Alhaji Muhammed Tukur, said that the association had warned its members on the danger of allowing their debts to accumulate. He however, said that the members would clear their outstanding bills.

-Punch

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Posted by on Jan 23 2011. Filed under Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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