5 October 2016

Tanzania: Fastjet to Compensate Passengers After Flight Cancellations

Photo: Daily News
FastJet plane.

Zanzibar — Aviation consumers' rights body has ordered FastJet, a budget airline, to compensate passengers for the inconvenience after canceling flights without notifications.

The airline canceled and rescheduled Dar-Mwanza and Dar-Mbeya flights on September 28 without notifying passengers.

The passengers later filed a complaint to Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority Consumer Consultative Council (TCA-CCC) which investigated the matter and established passengers' grievances.

TCAA-CCC Deputy Executive Secretary Debora Mligo said in a statement released today that the airline is supposed to pay the compensation according to the law of the land. Also "FastJet ticket sales should go concurrent with the number of seats available and should inform passengers when there are flight changes or cancellations--passenger has the right to be informed," Ms Mligo said.

The airline also was directed to educate their staff to use a customer-based language when addressing passengers during flight changes, delays and cancellations.

The body received complaints from stranded passengers on September 28 who were traveling between Dar-Mbeya and Dar-Mwanza that the airline rescheduled the flights without notifying them.

Also the passengers complained on harsh language used by the FastJet staff when addressing the issue and ignored them as though they have no right to know what was going on.

In May this year, Kisutu Magistrate Court ordered the airline to pay a passenger 30m/- as compensation after failing to inform him following a flight reschedule. The court also ordered the refund of customer's fare 43,000/- plus extra 339,000/- he spent on purchasing a ticket from another airline.

In February this year the airline was on spot after Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) warned the airline against publication of misleading adverts which indicate ticket prices that are exclusive of taxes and fees in a bid to attract customers.

KCAA said failure to abide by existing aviation, consumer protection and competition laws could see the airlines fined or even have their licences revoked.

Moreover, Fastjet Africa recorded a 2016 first-half 15 million US dollars (about 30bn/-) net loss, reversed from a net profit of 6.4 million US dollars (13bn/-) for the year-end period. The first-half revenue rose slightly to 33.1 million US dollars (66bn/-) compared to 31.5 million US dollars (62bn/-) last year.

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