No fewer than 48,234 air travellers’ luggage was either declared delayed or missing by foreign airlines operating in the country in 2022, according to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, in its newly released 2022 executive summary obtained by our correspondent in Abuja, blamed excess luggage and the non-availability of enough capacity by the airline involved to carry the luggage for delayed and missing luggage.
It disclosed that 41,435 of the luggage were later found while 6,799 of the luggage could not be traced.
The document revealed that at least 24 of the airlines that operate in Nigeria during the period under review were involved in the missing luggage.
KLM recorded the highest number of missing luggage with 5,622 followed by Air France with 5,480; Delta Airline with 4,342; Egypt Air with 4,247; Qatar Air with 4,221; Royal Air Maroc with 3,766; Lufthansa 3,633; Rwand Air 2,827; British Airways 2,814; and Virgin Atlantic 2,812.
Other airlines include Turkish Airlines 1,657; Ethiopian Air 1,380; Africa World 1,300; United Airlines 841; Air Cote d’Ivoire 671; Asky Airline 879; South African Airways 622; Emirates 174; Keyan Air 754; and Middle East Airline 69.
In the first quarter of 2022, a total of 8,437 missed luggage was recorded while 8,214 of them were later found.
Also, in the second quarter, 15,923 missed luggage was recorded but 13, 236 was later found, leaving 2687 still missing.
According to the report, the last quarter of the year under review witnessed the highest number of missed luggage with 23,874 with 20,035 later disclosed and 3,839 luggage had yet to be found.
When General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, was asked if the missing luggage was due to the carelessness of the airline or the passengers, he said,” The respective airlines are in a better position to answer the question. However, our people usually travel out light and return heavy. This usually led to some luggage being dropped till when there was space to accommodate them.
“But note that the next available flight priority will be passengers originally scheduled for that flight. So, it may not be due to carelessness. But once it was established that it was an outright loss, the airline involved would have to compensate the owner as required.”