A leading Nigerian travel and tours company that worked as General Sales Agency [GSA] for the Gambian ‘Mid Africa Aviation Company Ltd’ that Traded in Nigeria under the name ‘Fly Mid Africa’ has petitioned the Gambian Government over the non-payment of passengers’ Air Tickets Refund before it exited Nigeria.
The petition which was date February 12th 2019 and also copied to the Nigerian High Commission in The Gambia through its legal counsel Abrahams Ayobami & Co. stated that “We are Solicitors to Peacock Aviation and Allied Services Ltd. [henceforth referred to as ‘Our Client’], a company duly registered under the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with its registered address situate at No. 19, Mojidi Street, Off Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria and on its instructions and behalf we write you this petition”.
“Our client was appointed the General Sales Agent [GSA] of ‘MID AFRICA AVIATION LTD’ trading under the name ‘FLY MID AFRICA’ on 24th April 2017 when the said company commenced its Airline operations in Nigeria”
According to the counsel, “our client, among other things was to manage and operate a city office to sell tickets to customers, a task our client was able to achieve within a record time of four weeks of operation”.
The petition stated further that, “upon commencement of operations of the Airline, the cash sales in our client’s custody was used to take care of operation fees such as Air Landing, Parking Fees, Passengers’ Service Charges, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority [NCAA] Fees, Catering, and Crew Hotel Accommodations”.
“With the above looking promising, the Airline ran into issues with their flight schedules which led to the cancellation of February and March 2018 flights and finally suspension of operations until further notice”.
Whilst the suspension was still on, the airline got instructions to commence refund of issued tickets to customers which was carried out until exhaustion of all the funds at hand by the GSA according to its counsel.
“Our client then made a request for funds to be released to liquidate the outstanding refunds but same has remained hitherto unmet by the management of Fly Mid Africa Airlines for over one year now”
The petition also has it that, there is still an outstanding refund of about Eleven million one hundred and fifty six thousand, six hundred and one naira fifty one kobo [₦11,156,601.51] and our client’s unpaid International Air Transport Association [IATA]/Billing Settlement Plan [BSP] Sales Overriding Commission of about Seven Million Naira [₦7,000,000] only with customers showing their grievances in all manners including laying siege to the GSA business premises and disrupting its activities.
Meanwhile, some have even threatened to commence legal actions against it; moreso as customers are aware that tickets issued on the IATA BSP platform have been refunded and therefore query the reason for non-payment of their refunds.
Despite several email communications between our client and the said Fly Mid Africa Airline with reconciliation and adjustment of account settled between the parties, still the Airline has refused to release funds to pay innocent travellers their well-deserved refund even after leaving them stranded, disappointed and uncompensated, according to Chief Segun Phillips, Group Executive Chairman, Peacock Travels and Tours Limited.
However, in a bid to settle the matter amicably, the GSA wrote to the Nigerian High Commission in The Gambia to wade into the matter but was referred back to the Gambian Commission in Abuja as the right channel for resolving such issue.
As it stands, there is the total outstanding refund of about Eighteen million one hundred and fifty-six thousand six hundred and one naira fifty-one kobo [₦18,156,601.51] amounting to tickets refunds and GSA unpaid IATA BSP Sales Overriding.