Stranded Arik Air Passengers Shut Down Abuja Airport

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Stranded passengers, who were scheduled to travel to Ibadan
by Arik Air yesterday, but were left stranded for hours by the airline shut
down operations at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, last night.

The aggrieved passengers blocked the boarding gate of the
airport and did not allow Arik and other airlines to board passengers to other
destinations.

One of the stranded passengers, Saka Waheed, a civil society
activist, told Premium Times at about 9:30 P.M that the aborted flight was
originally schedule for 3.25pm.

“Later, they came to tell us it had been changed to 4p.m. By
4 o’clock, they said flight would be 7pm. When it was 7, we were directed to
enter a bus to take us to the tarmac so that we could board the plane and leave
for Ibadan.
“Although we entered the bus, yet the driver later told us
to get down. In short, that was the point we were told the flight had been
cancelled, after we had spent over four hours at the airport,” Mr. Waheed said.
He said they could not also assess their luggage, which had
already been checked in.
He complained that neither airport officials nor Arik Air
staff offered them any explanation on why the flight was cancelled and how to
get their luggage.
“Because of that treatment, we are not allowing anybody to
travel out of Abuja until either airport officials or Arik officials come to
address us,” Mr. Waheed said.
Also complaining, another passenger, Tope Oladele, said,
“Well, as you can see; these people are very barbaric. They are treating us
like animals. Nobody has come to explain what happened. They have left us
stranded.”
Both Messrs Waheed and Oladele said there was no official at
the Arik stand to attend to passengers’ complaints.
Officials of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria [FAAN]
as well as Arik Air’s spokesperson could not be reached for comments as at the
time of filing this report at 9:57 P.M.
Passengers said Arik is notorious for arbitrary flight
postponement and cancellation and that they are disappointed that aviation
authorities have so far failed to call the airline to order.
Source: Premium Times

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