On Wednesday, at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammad Airport in Lagos, Arik Air’s services were disrupted by passengers who had been stranded due to bad weather.
BuzzNigeria found out that most of these were passengers bound for South Africa and the United States.
At a point on Wednesday, some of the passengers became violent and went out of control, forcing the airline’s members of staff to run away from their duty posts.
Although it is not entirely their fault, Arik Air has not been able to fly its international passengers since Tuesday, December 27, due to the bad weather, and for this reason, they have created quite of backlog of outstanding flights.
Even more interesting is that this happened just twenty four hours after the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority sanctioned Arik for taking passengers’ rights for granted, and going against the provisions of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations.
Passengers who we talked to, told us that in spite of the backlog and the inability of the airline’s flight to leave for destinations like South Africa’s Johannesburg, England’s London, and New York in the USA, the airline’s staff at the international terminal still sold tickets to new and unsuspecting passengers.
In reaction to all of these, Adebanji Ola, Arik’s spokesperson, said that there were plans to correct all the confusion and satisfy the passengers, as an aircraft had been ferried back from the JFK Airport, so as to fly its New York-bound passengers.
According to him, a ground-handling company caused some damage to Arik’s Boeing A330-200 plane at the JFK airport a few days ago, and so the company had had to charter a European charter operator’s B767-300ER plane, to minimize the inconvenience to New York-bound passengers.
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He also added:
“This arrangement was put in place to cover for the period until the return to service of our A330-200 aircraft on December 28, 2016.
“The Lagos-New York flight, which was scheduled to be operated by the charter company and depart Lagos on Tuesday, December 27, 2016 at 11:00am, could not operate due to the closure of the airspace for several hours due to bad weather. Despite the airline’s repeated appeals to the charter operator to operate the next fight, they insisted on positioning their crew and aircraft back to Europe on Wednesday, December 28, 2016.”
He said Arik’s A330-200 plane was also being ferried back from New York, and the aircraft was expected to get to Lagos by Thursday (today), and therefore, the New York bound passengers would be able to travel on Thursday.