Louis Ibah, Lagos
An Ethiopian Airlines aircraft experienced difficulties while attempting to land at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, but there was no threat to the lives of its over 393 passengers, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Spokesman for the airline, Mr. Ikechi Uko, told our correspondent in a telephone chat that the pilot while initiating landing into the Lagos airport had been informed by air traffic controllers of inclement weather on the ground at the airport following an early-morning rain. And in line with standard-safety procedures it opted to abort the landing process.
“The aircraft did not touch the ground neither did it over-shot the runway and there was no threat to any life,” Uko said, in reference to a near-crash story reported by other online platforms.
“It was an aborted landing, a standard safety procedure, just as an air return, and pilots opt for this process once the conditions to land are not safe. If the aircraft had overshot the runway then it could have crashed into something at the airport and be destroyed, thus leading to the shutdown of the airport; but the Lagos airport remains open and nothing is wrong with the aircraft. The pilot only waited (hold on air) for some minutes for the right conditions on the ground at the airport to occur and thereafter returned to land safely,” Uko said.
The aircraft was coming into Lagos from the Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa.
It was gathered that the Boeing 777-300, had also had on board, the Director- General of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) Ambassador Ayoola Olukanni. Also on the flight was Prof Samson Tunde Adebayo, the Director of Ports Inspection, National Agency For Food And Drug Administration And Control (NAFDAC) as well as scores of Nigerians and other nationals.