Consumer protection regulation in the aviation industry-the need for improved governance in Nigeria
This paper examines the protection of Nigerian consumers with particular reference to the role of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) established by Civil Aviation Act 2006, which seeks to regulate and monitor the safety, security, economic and reliability of air navigation oversight in line with international standards as well as economic regulations of the aviation industry. The issue of consumer protection has attracted increasing attention, highlighting instances of flight cancellation, long delays, overbooked flights, lost baggage, boarding denial and other air travel disruptions. Similarly, when flights are delayed, rescheduled or cancelled, many passengers are forced to rearrange transportation at their own expense. The right to seek redress for all irregularities and breach of contract is therefore worrisome. The aim of this paper is to appraise the legal framework of consumer protection in the aviation industry as well as identify theconstraints affecting its achievements. Unlike Brazil, the laws are clear on exactly what care passengers should expect from the airline. Where an airline has failed to care for their passengers, Brazil’s Consumer Code allows passengers to claim compensation for the inconvenience. This paper recommends that the consumer protection regulation in Nigeria should be strengthened and airline consumers be well informed of their rights and responsibilities so that there are no exceptions for airlines to evade their obligations for breach of contract. Finally, consumer protection laws should play a vital role in advocating for air travelers and passenger rights.