The spat between the regulatory Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the British Airways (BA), over alleged price-fixing by the airline and Virgin Atlantic, worsened Tuesday when the NCAA slammed the airline (BA) for undermining its authority.
NCAA had fined the two British carriers a total of US$235 million as compensation to Nigerian travellers who were victims of the price-fixing along the lucrative Lagos-London route between 2004 and 2006.
In a letter, BA reacted angrily to the fine, questioning NCAA’s legal rights to investigate a matter that happened before its creation.
Stung by the challenge, NCAA Director-General Harold Demuren in turn lashed out at BA.
”It is noteworthy that as has been characteristic of British Airways, their letter needlessly confronts NCAA that it has acted ‘unlawfully’, outside of its power, without legal basis and usurped the judiciary.
”While entirely false, these inflammatory statements are needless and do not add anything to any legal points BA seeks to make,” Demuren said.
He added: ”The only possible objective of such a confrontational approach is to condescend to and undermine the regulator. It again demonstrates the repeated and continuing disregard BA has for Nigerian constituted authority and its exclusive desire to ensure that absolutely nothing interferes with its ability to continue to take advantage of our business without the reciprocal regard and deference required.”
The NCAA boss said he remains convinced that the regulator acted appropriately ”within the confines of the law”