Passengers of various airlines kicked against the delay of their flights on Thursday as some of them caused a scene at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja while protesting against the development.
It was, however, gathered that the delays were due to the scarcity of aviation fuel, popularly called JetA1, though some airline workers attributed flight delays to Lagos to the ongoing repairs of a runway at the Murtala Muhammad Airport, Lagos.
In June, the Airline Operators of Nigeria made it clear that the scarcity of aviation fuel would lead to the disruption of flights. Domestic airlines under AON had earlier hiked fares by more than 60 per cent, citing the increased cost of JetA1.
They had also threatened to halt flight services, a development that led to the intervention of the government through the National Assembly.
Many passengers of Max Air, Overland Airways, United Airlines, among others, condemned the flight delays on Thursday, as it was learnt that some flights were actually delayed for about three hours.
A source at the NAIA told our correspondent that Max Air, for instance, delayed a Port Harcourt bound flight for about three hours, a development that led to a protest by its passengers.
It was gathered that though the airline provided refreshments for the passengers, some of the travellers still violently kicked against the delay by the carrier.
“There was a Max Air flight meant for 9am from Abuja to Port Harcourt and it was rescheduled to 12noon. But they (Max Air) appealed to the passengers, they even gave them refreshments, but the passengers just kept protesting,” the source stated
The source added, “However, it wasn’t something serious. It has nothing to do with FAAN (Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria) as some passengers and airline workers claim. Rather the protest at the airport involved passengers of Max Air after their 9am flight was delayed to 12pm.”
On claims by some airline workers that the closure of a runway at the Lagos airport contributed to some flight delays in Abuja, the spokesperson of FAAN, Voke Ivbaze, said it was not true.
“You cannot say your airline’s flight is being delayed while you are still in the terminal building and your aircraft has not even taxied to the runway. When they (airlines) have their own operational delays they will look for ways to put on the closure of the runway,” she stated.
Article first published on the Punch Website