A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has awarded a fine of N6 million as general damages against Ethiopian Airlines Limited for cancelling the flights of a Nigerian family without due notice.
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Justice Adekunle Faji, the presiding judge, in his ruling on Friday, also awarded another sum of N1 million as the cost of the action.
The monies were awarded in favour of the plaintiffs; the Madakin Zazzau, Munir Jaafaru; his wife, Hadizat Jaafaru, and their daughter, Hafsat Jaafaru, for the hardships, stress, and inconvenience caused them by the airline’s cancellation of their flights without notice.
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In the suit filed on April 27, 2018, the plaintiffs sought among other things, a declaration that the airline contravened the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Regulations, 2015 by cancelling the flights without due notice and for the consequent hardships, stress, and inconvenience.
Faji, in his judgment, also held that the airline was bound to give notice of the flight cancellation to the plaintiffs, and having not shown proof of such notice, its action was in breach of the contract of carriage.
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He also found that the defendant breached the contract of carriage with the plaintiffs, by its failure to give notice of its flight cancellation, as required by the NCAA Regulations.
The judge noted that this caused the plaintiffs who were on a family trip in a foreign land hardship, stress, and inconvenience in rescheduling their flights.
The court has established “the principle that the cancellation of flights by airlines without due notice to the passenger may render the airline liable.”