Abuja - The management of Arik Airline on Tuesday cancelled its scheduled flight from Abuja to Gombe due to what it described as `technical fault.’
``In order not to risk the lives of people, we decided to cancel the flight, but hopefully, we shall board tomorrow, some of the passengers have agreed to wait till tomorrow.’’
One of the airline’s officials, who spoke incognito, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the plane was supposed to depart Abuja by 11:20 a.m.
The official added that the airline’s management directed that the flight should be rescheduled for the next flight to Yola by 3:30 p.m. or make a refund to any passenger who requested for it.
Mr Muhammed Abani, the airline’s station manager, declined to respond when pressed for comment.
Abani simply said office policy will not allow me to say anything.
NAN reports that each passenger paid N22,000 for the ticket.
Some passengers expressed disappointment and frustration over the cancellation of the flight while others shouted at the officials who tried to calm them.
Moses Aliyu, one of the passengers, said that this has become a regular habit of this airline; they like to cancel flights unnecessarily on this route whenever there is no full booking.''
"They keep giving us different excuses. Someone said it was due to technical fault of the aircraft; that some experts have gone to check it.
"Another official came to tell us that they cancelled our flight due to bad weather.
"The authorities should stand and act fast against this kind of embarrassing situation. If the aircraft is not good, let them pack it up instead of deceiving us.’’
Mrs Ebere Chukwu, a housewife, said she wanted to see her children urgently because one of them were ill.
"I am missing my children; one of my sons is not feeling fine. That was why I came to board this flight.
"Imagine, they just informed us that the flight had been cancelled and there is no other flight going straight to Gombe today.
"This is unfair, they should have informed us instead of allowing us to waste our time and money to come to the airport or at least they should have provided an alternative.
"This is frustrating, last Monday, the same thing happened. They changed my flight to Tuesday without giving a reason. Now, they have booked me for Yola, but I can’t go there.’’
Mr Moses Olanrewaju and Adamu Mohammed said they preferred to get a refund and board a vehicle than to take a risk of entering a faulty aircraft; even after the repairs.