…Says It Is A Universal Practice For Safety
The Chairman of Air Peace, Barrister Allen Onyema has said that no airline would intentionally delay or cancel flights in view of the unimaginable cost the airline would incur
This is just as he posited that flight delay and cancellation is not in the interest of any airline .
Onyema, who spoke at the 25th Annual Conference of the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents(LAAC) held at the Sheraton Hotel recently, explained that flight delay and cancellation is not restricted to Nigeria and that it happens all over the world .
“There are so many reasons for flight delays and cancellations. I don’t think any airline worth its salt will want to cancel flights or delay flights for the sake of it. In fact when you cancel flights you incur a lot of unimaginable costs.
“No airline would want to cancel for the fun of it. And delays and cancellations happen all over the world, it is all about safety.
“This time of the year, this is the rainy season when there is a thunderstorm. You may sit in Lagos and you are going to Abuja and you call your friend because passengers do that, when you tell them weather is not good, they might call their relations in Abuja, they would tell them everywhere is clear but they don’t understand that enroute weather also matters, he said.
He contended that the moment an airline operator for any reason delays a flight it is bound to affect other routes of that airline, adding that passengers think operators should buy aircraft and park it on the ground.
Onyema posited that aircraft business does not work like that, as according to him every airplane is meant to operate on certain routes that have been planned, stressing that “once anything happens on one of those planned routes, it would affect the others. It is like that all over the world.”
Speaking further, the Air Peace Chairman said, “The other day a flight was going to Calabar, getting to Calabar, it could not land. If that flight had landed in Calabar, they would have gone from Calabar to Abuja, from Abuja, they would go back to Calabar and back to Lagos.
“But the one that left Lagos to Calabar couldn’t land because of adverse weather. So they had to hover, after sometimes they turned back and landed in Port Harcourt. Over two hours delay occurred. It means that the passengers in Calabar waiting to go to Abuja would be delayed, those in Abuja waiting to go back to Calabar would be delayed, those of them in Calabar waiting to come to Lagos would be delayed. Any other route that was planned with that aircraft that day would experience delay. These are things that cause delay. It is all over the world, “he restated.
To further buttress his point, he cited a situation when he was travelling to America and wanted to land in Miami but could not because there was a storm and that the flight was diverted to South Carolina.
According to him, ” I remained there for 10 hours before we got another flight because the pilot’s duty time expired. So it is all about safety. We sympathize and empathize with passengers on what they go through but it is for their safety. Again, facilitation at the airport. If there is a 6:30 a.m flight and over 1000 passengers are queuing up to pass through one scanner, there is bound to be a delay.”