United Kingdom-based carrier, British Airways, has apologised to its passengers for diverting its flights destined to Lagos to Accra, Ghana and for cancelling some of its flights from Lagos due to inclement weather, driven by harmattan haze.
The airline, in a statement by its General Manager, West Africa, Mr. Kola Olayinka, said: “We would like to use this opportunity to tender an unreserved apology to our esteemed customers for the inconveniences of varying degrees, experienced these past few days. The situation has been a result of recent delays and diversions of flights occasioned by the inclement weather causing very poor visibility at the Lagos Airport, coupled with a number of factors outside of our immediate control.
“In these unique cases, the decisions to delay or divert flights were made carefully by our pilots who are well trained to handle situations like this, especially in consideration of the safety and security of our passengers and crew.”
BA said as a people-first airline, “we ensured that our customers were properly accommodated in hotels where adequate rooms were available, meals, refreshments, and transport to and from the airports were provided for their movement at the different airports in Accra, Abuja, and Lagos.”
“Regrettably, in this unique case, most hotels were taken up by passengers of airlines that were earlier diverted to Abuja. The direct result was the inadequacy of accommodation. To resolve this, we booked all 157 available rooms and accommodated 157 Passengers; we also ensured the safety of the remaining passengers by accommodating them in a dedicated area provided by Sheraton where we provided meals and drinks.
“The Accra incident was markedly unpredictable as the delay lingered for two days due to the persisting weather condition. We chartered a Boeing 767 from Euro Atlantic to convey passengers from Accra to Lagos however a number of passengers had opted to make personal arrangements for their return,” the airline said.
BA said it regretted that the frustrations experienced and the disruptions it would have had on earlier-planned engagements of our esteemed customers.
“We would also like to use this opportunity to encourage passengers to send receipts of expenses incurred during this period to our customer relations team on standby to process the reimbursements and also attend to queries. We remain unwaveringly committed to the safety and comfort of every passenger and crewmember. That is, and will always be the priority for everyone at British Airways,” the airline added.