Despite the Easter holiday, which witnesses a surge in the movement of passengers, domestic airlines on Thursday were forced to delay many flights because of the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Nigeria’s commercial city of Lagos.
THISDAY investigations reveal that many passengers missed their flights early Thursday because the roads leading to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) were blocked due to the visit of the President.
This has forced airlines to adjust their flight schedule, delay some of their morning flights and hoped to add additional flights on Friday in order to accommodate those who were not airlifted on Thursday because they could not get to the airport.
Dana Air spokesman, Kingsley Ezenwa who spoke to THISDAY said that passengers who could not fly on Thursday would be accommodated in other flights subsequently without payment for no-show because they missed their flights due to the closure of the roads to the airport.
“The airspace is not closed but scheduled operations were delayed because the roads to the airport were closed. The roads were opened at some point, which enabled us to operate our first flight; although the flight was delayed.
“We are in constant communication with our passengers so we have been sending them messages and some of them said that with the delays they cannot make it again today. We informed them we can accommodate them in the next flights from tomorrow for free,” Ezenwa said.
But the Executive Director, Technical, Medview Airline, Lukeman Animaseun said there was flight disruption due to the blockage of roads to the airports, which forced their 7:00 flight to leave by past 8:00 pm but by mid day the situation normalised.
“The road blockage affected our flight operations in the morning and we encountered delays and we had to wait for passengers to come at the Lagos airport. Operations at the other airports were normal. But by afternoon the situation has normalised,” Animaseun said.
THISDAY also learnt that all flights emanating from Lagos on Thursday would be delayed and some of them cancelled but the airlines hoped that Friday flights would not be affected; otherwise, it would adversely impinge on their operations and leave a lot of their passengers who would want to celebrate the Easter season with their loved ones stranded.
Many of the flights from Lagos destined to the airports that operate daylight service would be cancelled because passengers may not be able to get to the airport in time to operate the flights before dusk.
Some of the airlines and airport workers could not even get to their offices because of the closure of the roads.