Thursday, May 26, 2011

Air Nigeria passengers stranded in Lagos

Hundreds of Air Nigeria passengers were stranded on Wednesday at the Terminal 2 of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, following the shortage of aviation fuel.

All the airline’s flights were delayed. The flights were scheduled to depart for Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Owerri.

Some passengers, who had gone through the boarding processes, could not be checked into the aircraft because of the fuel situation.

The situation angered the passengers who had spent hours at the departure hall awaiting the final boarding announcement. The angry passengers engaged the airline officials in a heated argument, but the situation was brought under control with the help of security personnel. 
An Enugu-bound passenger, Wahab Isiaka, said that he had purchased his ticket for N20,500 and had undergone the boarding process when they were informed that the airline had no fuel.

“I came to the airport by 11 a.m. and purchased my ticket for the 1 p.m. flight, but we have yet to board up till now,” he said. “Not until we started shouting and [were] about creating a scene that some of the airline staff told us that they did not have aviation fuel.’’

Another passenger, who simply identified himself as Ataiye, said he was to travel to Owerri on the morning flight but was still at the airport without a clear explanation on the situation from the airline officials.

“The airline is finding it difficult to refund our money or tell us what they intend to do,” he said. “How can they say they do not have fuel after collecting money from us?’’

Efforts to speak with Sam Ogbogoro, Head Corporate Affairs of Air Nigeria, were unsuccessful as calls made to his mobile phone went unanswered.

In another development, most domestic airlines have been having hectic time coping with the ‘pay-as-you-go option’ adopted by aviation fuel marketers. This has resulted in delayed flights and untold hardship for the passengers.

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