By Louis Ibah
The scarcity of aviation fuel has forced Arik Air to suspend its domestic and international flights from the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, but the airline’s action however did not go down well with its stranded passengers as they staged a protest at the airport raining verbal abuses and physically assaulting the airline staff.
Trouble started at the international terminal of the Lagos airport when the airline’s passengers especially those billed to travel to Johannesburg and New York waited endlessly without any boarding announcements being made for their flights. The airline later explained that it had difficulty sourcing for fuel for the flights.
However, sensing a breakdown of the peace, Policemen from the airport command were drafted to prevent the angry passengers from damaging facilities at the international airport. It would be the third time in the last six weeks that passengers would clash with the airline’s staff following the cancellation or suspension of flight operations by Arik Air.
Arik Air in a statement by its spokesman, Adebanji Ola however condemned the incessant attacks by passengers on its staff and property in recent weeks.
Ola said: “Arik Air strongly condemns the incessant and increasing number of attacks on our staff and property in the recent months. As a flag carrier for Nigeria, the airline expresses it disappointment and dismay that the Aviation Security department (AVSEC) of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and all the other security agencies in the country cannot ensure or guarantee the safety of our personnel when on duty across the various airports in the country.
“This serious breach of security and lawlessness by some of the passengers to assault and cause bodily harm to the airline’s personnel cannot and will not continue to be tolerated. “Passengers continue to take the laws into their hands and the severity and frequencies of such criminal acts are on the rise due to lack of appropriate action or preventative measures from the security agencies,” Ola added. (The Sun)