The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has summoned the management of Arik Air to an urgent meeting over the delay of more than 14 hours of Flight W3 077.
This was contained in a statement made available to aviation correspondents on Sunday in Lagos.
The statement reads: “This meeting is consequent upon several complaints received by the Directorate of Consumer Protection of the NCAA from passengers, who were scheduled for Arik Air’s combined service to Freetown and Banjul on May 2.
“The Flight scheduled for 8.00hrs was delayed till 21:35hrs, with an announcement that the flight was delayed due to operational reasons.”
It said that at that stage, the NCAA’s Consumer Protection Officers, who were on hand, intervened and caused the airline to serve the passengers light refreshment.
The statement said that when it became clear that the flight would not depart at 21:35hrs, the passengers who had become enraged took over the Boarding Gates.
It noted that the action thereby prevented the commencement of boarding of another Arik Air service Flight W3 103 to Johannesburg.
The statement also said that NCAA’ s DCP officers had a hard time restoring order before Flight W3 077 (FNA/BJL) eventually departed at 23:46hrs.
“Another Arik Flight W3 792 scheduled service from Ibadan to Abuja was similarly delayed at Ibadan Airport on May 3,” the statement said.
It alleged that the Arik Air officials said calls were earlier put across to all passengers on the service to inform them of the rescheduled time of departure, a claim hotly disputed by the passengers.