Road Closure Forces Airlines to Cancel Flights as Buhari Visits Lagos

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By Chinedu Eze

Domestic airlines on Thursday were forced to delay and even cancel many flights due to the closure of some Lagos roads because of the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Nigeria’s commercial city.

THISDAY investigations reveal that many passengers missed their flights because the roads leading to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) were closed due to the visit of the President.

Some of the airlines and airport workers could not also get to their offices because of the closure of some selected roads marked presidential routes.

The closure of the airport access roads forced airlines to adjust their flight schedule or cancel some of their morning flights. They however hope 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 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 cancelled 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 could not make it again today. We informed them we could accommodate them in the next flights from tomorrow for free,” Ezenwa 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 affect their operations and leave many of their passengers who would want to celebrate the Easter season with their loved ones stranded.

Many of the flights from Lagos to airports that operate daylight services would be cancelled because passengers may not be able to get to the airport in time to operate the flights before dusk.

The President is on a two-day visit to Lagos during which he will commission some projects and attend the Bola Tinubu Colloquium.