Saturday, November 9, 2013

Aero passengers stranded overnight at Abuja airport

Over 50 passengers of Aero Contractors Airlines were left stranded at
the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja from Friday night till
daybreak on Saturday.
It was learnt that passengers of flight AJ132 belonging to Aero were
meant to leave NAIA for Lagos on Friday, but the flight did not take
off until about 8am on Saturday.
The Coordinating General Manager (Communications) Aviation
Parastatals, Mr. Yakubu Dati, and an official of the Federal Airports
Authority of Nigeria, who was present at the airport when the incident
happened, confirmed the development to our correspondent.
The FAAN official stated that the passengers slept at the airport
after the airline failed to convey them to their destination.
The official said, "They had to sleep at the airport because the
flight was delayed till close to midnight and it will be unsafe to
start looking for a hotel to lodge at that time of the night.
"Some of the passengers who opted to sleep in one of Aero's aircraft
on the tarmac were asked not to do so by security men. But most of
them slept in the terminal."
Asked of what may have warranted such treatment on passengers by the
airline, the official said the flight might have developed engine
The source said, "We suspect that the plane did not fly because of
possible bird strike that might have resulted in engine problem. This
has nothing to do with FAAN. It's purely an airline issue
"The plane did not take off till I left the airport after my duty last
night. They however flew this (Saturday) morning."
When contacted, the aviation parastatals spokesperson urged passengers
to make complaints at the information desk of the Nigerian Civil
Aviation Authority at airports across the country.
Dati said he was aware of the development and stated that the NCAA
would make its investigations before undertaking any action.
He said, "There's an NCAA desk for consumer protection where
passengers are supposed to report and it's based on the report we get
that we can take action.
"After our findings, we can now decide the compensation that the
passengers are entitled to once we are able to establish an
Dati urged air travellers to first report to the airline in question
before complaining to the NCAA whenever they find their carrier
He said airlines too had rights and explained that the civil aviation
regulator would always balance its findings before meting out any
punitive measure.

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