Nigerian Ministers File Claims Worth $12m For A Flight Delay

A group of Nigerian MPs have filed a sizable claim against carrier Azman Air. The MPs are asking that the airline pay a whopping $12.1 million in compensation for a 12-hour delay on a flight from last September. Let’s find out more.

Azman Air 737
The flight from Kano to Abuja was pushed back by 12 hours due to technical difficulties. Photo: Sm105 via Wikimedia Commons

Compensation

According Pulse, a group of five Nigerian federal lawmakers and four citizens filed a civil suit against Azman Air on November 1st. The suit alleges a breach of contract by the airline due to negligent behavior regarding a delay on a domestic flight from September 22nd to the 23rd. The flight suffered a near 12-hour delay.

The group of nine are demanding two remedies to the airline’s breach of contract. One is compensation of five billion nairas ($12.18mn) as general damages. They claim that “the airline subjected them to psychological and emotional trauma, public embarrassment and loss of legislative hour.”

Azman Air 737
Azman Air has found itself under scrutiny recently after a string of safety investigations and a six-week grounding. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons

However, the plaintiffs also want another punishment. The group has asked the court to rule that Azman Air must publish a written apology in three major publications, The Sun, ThisDay, and the Guardian. The court is yet to make a ruling on the case.

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The issue

The lawsuit centers around an Azman Air domestic flight from Kano to Abuja, carrying some important people. The carrier reportedly delayed the flight from 12:30 PM on 22nd September by nearly 12 hours, somewhere into the early hours of the 23rd of September. This left the lawmakers and several others irate, given the lost time on the ground.

While travel delays can have varying impacts, from missed connections to canceled plans, the MPs are demanding a tall order. A five billion nairas ($12.1mn) compensation and a compelled public apology may not be seen as proportional in the court’s eyes. However, we will have to wait and see what the court eventually decides.

azman-air-airbus-a340-resumption
Azman Air recently became Nigeria’s latest foreign carrier after its A340-600 was certified. Photo: Azman Air via Twitter

Busy year

2021 has been a bit of a mixed bag for Azman Air. The airline was grounded in mid-March for six weeks due to severe safety lapses with its 737 operations. After improving procedures, the airline restarted operations in May. However, this latest lawsuit could be another financial and PR nightmare if successful.

On the flip side, Azman Air has made some great strides too. In June, the airline was certified as an international flight operator by the Nigerian government. Using a sole A340-600, Azman has started flights to Saudi Arabia, with plans to expand to Dubai and China in the future.

Nigerian Ministers File Claims Worth $12m For A Flight Delay
Azman Air’s A340s come from Virgin Atlantic’s retired fleet and feature a unique two-seat business class cabin (you read that right). Photo: Azman Air

For now, expect to see Azman Air mount a defense against the MPs’ claim in court. While it could lose the challenge, the goal will be to reduce the amount owed and avoid a public apology.

What do you think about the case against Azman Air? Let us know in the comments!

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