There was protest on Sunday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja (NAIA) over the cancellation of an Arik Air flight to Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State.
The protesting passengers described the incident as too incessant and whimsically done by the airline authorities, among other grievances.
One of the passengers, who preferred anonymity, while speaking to THISDAY on telephone, said he was angered because he had waited for several hours at the airport only to face frequent cancellation of flight by Arik Air.
Sources at the airport said the travellers became infuriated when the airline announced that its second flight to Ilorin had been cancelled. The source said such cancellations and long hours of delay have become the signature malaise of the airline’s operations.
One of the passengers said: “The only way to make our position known is through this mild demonstration and mild protest to send the right signal to the airline management and government.”
Arik spokesman, Mr. Banji Ola, however explained that yesterday’s incident in which a domestic carrier veered off the runway prompted the control tower to direct the carrier to cancel the flight.
According to him, Arik had intended going to Ilorin with a bigger aircraft, but was advised to have a rethink as both Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) officials were still investigating the Saturday’s incident in which 59 passengers crash landed at Ilorin airport.
While arrangement was being made to fly the passengers with a smaller aircraft it was uncertain if the flight would be possible because of the poor weather visibility presently being experienced, a pilot hinted.