By Chinelo Obogo
Passengers who boarded the Kano to Lagos flight on Aero Contractors yesterday were left stranded for over 10 hours after the aircraft suffered a bird strike.
A passenger on the scheduled flight told Daily Sun that 15 minutes into the 9am flight, an announcement was made that there the aircraft had developed an issue and the pilot had to return to the airport with all passengers ordered to disembarked.
The passenger, who spoke on the condition of anonymity flayed the airline for not sending a senior official to address the passengers on what the issue was and when another aircraft would be deployed to airlift them.
“We were left to speculate on what was wrong. Some said it was an engine failure, others said the fan blade had been damaged. The flight was for 9am but till 8pm, we were there without being told when another aircraft would come.
“We were kept in the dark and practically abandoned by the airline. No official deemed it fit to immediately come and address us and tell us what the issues were.
“It was hours later after many of us vehemently protested the shabby treatment that an official of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria came and told us to be patient. The person whom the airline eventually sent to address us couldn’t communicate properly and didn’t know what the real issues were. We had appointments to meet and the airline couldn’t tell us what time an aircraft would come. They also didn’t bother to even ensure that we had something to eat and were comfortable. They just left us there unattended to. We are terribly disappointed at Aero Contractors. This isn’t how to treat human beings,” the passenger said.
Responding to the issues, the airline released a statement saying: “Aero Contractors regrets the inconveniences suffered by our passengers on flight N2 142 which occurred on March 21, 2021 on the Kano to Lagos flight due to a bird strike on the engine while taking off.
“For precautionary and safety reasons, Aero Contractors had to make arrangements to ferry the aircraft back to Lagos to enable our engineers undertake a check on the engines and secure the approval of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) before returning it to service.We are currently doing everything possible to bring our passengers back to Lagos.”