Passengers stranded as airlines cancel domestic flights

Hundreds of air travellers were stranded across Nigerian airports on Monday as poor weather conditions forced several airlines to cancel scheduled flight operations.

Most affected were flights going into the South South and South East parts of the country as heavy fog occasioned by the harmattan haze marred visibility for aeronautical services.

It was gathered that airports in Benin, Asaba, Owerri, Enugu, Port Harcourt and Uyo were all affected by the poor weather conditions.

Passengers who had booked for the morning flight on Arik and Aero thronged the airport to catch their flight only to be told flights had been cancelled forcing them to resort to road transport as alternative travel plans yesterday.

Other airlines affected include Medview and Discovery. Although Dana Air did not officially announce the cancellation of its flight, its planes did not fly to the airports due to inclement weather.

At the Lagos domestic airport terminals, it was an unusually packed departure hall as flights were postponed due to the weather condition with airlines repeatedly expressing regrets and apologising for the situation over the speakers to passengers.

Spokesperson for Arik Air, Adebanji Ola, told aviation correspondents that the airline had no choice than to cancel some flights due to the poor weather.

“It is all about the safety of the passengers; the passengers come first,” Ola said.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), recently warned pilots and airlines of adverse effects of the harmattan dust haze and advised them to take precautionary measures to ensure safety of passengers while pursuing their businesses.

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