Arik Air Charters B767-300 Aircraft To Fly Lagos-New York Passengers Tomorrow
…Ground Handler Causes Damage To Arik Air’s A330-200 Plane At JFK Airport
…Alleges New York bound Passengers Prevented Airline From Check –In Guest For Other Destinations
…Appeals For Understanding
Arik Air said it has chartered a B767-300ER aircraft from a European charter operator to minimise the disruption and inconvenience to booked passengers on its Lagos-New York JFK service.
The airline stated that it decided to charter an aircraft following the damage to Arik Air’s A330-200 aircraft with registration 5N-JIC by a ground handling company at JFK International Airport, New York, USA a few days ago,
An online statement by the Public Relations and Communications Manager, Arik Air, Mr Adebanji Ola disclosed that this arrangement was put in place to cover for the period until the return to service of its A330-200 aircraft on December 28,, 2016.
According to him, “The Lagos-New York flight which was scheduled to be operated by the charter company and depart Lagos on Tuesday, December 27, 2016 at 11:00am could not operate due to the closure of Lagos airspace for several hours due to bad weather (poor visibility). Despite the airline’s repeated appeals to the charter operator to operate the next fight, they insisted on positioning their crew and aircraft back to Europe on Wednesday, December 28, 2016.”
He continued, “Arik Air immediately commenced the ferry back of its A330-200 aircraft from New York to Lagos on Wednesday, 28 December 2016 and this aircraft is expected to arrive Lagos on Thursday, 29 December 2016 at 02:45am. Passengers originally booked on Arik Air’s flight W3 107 on Tuesday, 27 December 2016 from Lagos to New York JFK will now be accommodated to travel on Thursday, December 29, 2016 at 06:00am.”
He stated that while these negotiations were on with the charter operator and Arik Air was reviewing available alternate options, unfortunately, some of the New York bound passengers on Wednesday, 28 December 2016 prevented the airline from checking in passengers booked for other destinations resulting in significant delays and cancellations of some flights.
These passengers, he further explained also delayed the check-in of Lagos-London Heathrow flight of Wednesday, December 28 2016 despite making them aware that London Heathrow airport enforces a night curfew and the consequential impact on other passengers of such unlawful disruptions.
The airline stated that it did not receive any assistance from the Aviation Security (AVSEC) department of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to contain the disruptive passengers and ensure they act in an orderly and civilised manner.
Arik Air appealed for the understanding of passengers booked on the Lagos-New York service, assuring them that regular operations will be normalised from Thursday, December 29, 2016.