Air Peace Airline has urged the aviation authorities to look into the ground handling equipment that collided and damaged its aircraft elevator at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
Spokesman of Air Peace, Stanley Olisa, confirmed the incident in Lagos on Wednesday in a statement he issued.
He said the aircraft was scheduled to transport passengers to Owerri from Lagos.
Olisa explained that the aircraft was an Airbus A320 aircraft belonging to Air Peace with the registration number: A320 ES-SAZ.
He said that the incident had led to disruption of scheduled flight operations after one of the ground handling company’s equipment rammed into one of its aircraft.
Olisa said before the incident occurred, the aircraft was scheduled to transport passengers from Lagos to Owerri for a 7am flight.
He said: “This same aircraft was positioned for about 10 flights on the same day, however, the incident changed all that causing a ripple that affected the airlines schedule.
“This is the third time in one month that the aircraft is grounded and we don’t know when it will be up again.
“The NAHCO staff had no reason to be where he was and he was not assigned to the aircraft and how he rammed into our aircraft is still shocking.
“This is going to cause revenue loss for us as an airline because the aircraft was scheduled to operate several flights today (Wednesday), but could not do so.
“This has caused flight disruptions and delays hence, the authorities should investigate the incident and take necessary actions.”
Olisa said the airline had made a formal complaint to the NAHCO management on the incident.
Reacting, the Group Executive Director, Business and Corporate Services, NAHCO, Dr. Sola Obabori, also confirmed the incident.
Obabori said it was not possible for its staff to deliberately and maliciously damage one of its major customer’s aircraft.
The official said the handling company had filed a report on the incident, adding that the company had commenced an engagement with the airline on the incident.
Obabori said: “We have a very cordial relationship with the airline and we have been together all these years, we serve them diligently and professionally.
“Our staff are well-trained, accidents do happen.
“You will agree with me that aircraft do crash due to human error.
“In this particular case, the staff was driving on the runway to attend to another flight that arrived before Air Peace.
“He was driving towards that direction and wanted to support that operation, but he committed an error in terms of processes he was supposed to follow, which he didn’t follow.”
The official said that was what caused the incident, adding that the staff might have had a blind spot, which prevented him from seeing well.
He, however assured that the company would review what had happened so that such incident would not reoccur.