Uche Usim, with agency report
Passengers have been thrown into a state of panic as some local airlines at Lagos and Abuja airports have been forced to halt operations to tensed states where curfews have been declared as the #endsars protest degenerated into near anarchy.
The hardest hit route is Lagos-Abuja, which accounts for over 70% of the total domestic traffic.
The airlines stated this in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.
Mr Hamza Bukar, Associate Vice-President, Abuja and Regional Domestic North, Arik Airlines, said that the company had cancelled all its flight operations due to the curfew announced by the Lagos State government.
He advised all the booked passengers on the cancelled flights to reschedule their flights for later dates, at no extra cost.
“The safety of our passengers and staff is more important than the revenue. We will monitor the situation and advise passengers and staff accordingly, “ he said.
The Station Manager of Aero Contractors, Mr Abdulmalik Jibreel, said that the company had suspended its operations until the situation normalised.
Jibreel said that the company`s staff members would start operating from home at the moment.
“All our members of staff have been directed to stay at home to avoid protesters, while all managers are to operate from home,’’ he added.
Mr Nuradeen Aliyu, the Assistant General Manager of the airline, said that flights could only operate on the routes of the states that were free from curfew.
He said that the blockage of the airport road by the protesters had affected the passengers seriously and had badly affected the company`s operations.
“Moreover, the curfews imposed by some states have left us with no option than to cancel all the flights to those states,” he said.
Aliyu added that the development had further affected the fragile operations of the airline which was just recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, adding “the situation is worrisome.
Also, the Max Air Station Manager, Mr Kehinde Ogunyale, said that the company would concentrate its operations on internal sectors from Abuja, for now.