Posted by Sade Williams
Air Peace has reacted to a trending video portraying the airline in a bad light on social media, saying it did not arrest any passenger.
Explaining the circumstances surroundings the incident, the airline in a statement said the passengers in the video were supposed to be on a 19:20 Lagos-Abuja flight on September 28 but consequent upon tenable unforeseen operational concerns, the flight was delayed.
“We put 46 of them on a flight that departed at 19:16, leaving behind 46 passengers. The delay was professionally communicated to the passengers and we apologised for the delay and inconveniences.”, it said.
Explaining further, it noted that ‘a certain male passenger, Paul Samuel, who suddenly became uncontrollably irate, assaulted our Boarding Officer. This was clearly unnecessary and despicable. We were about distributing refreshments in consonance with Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Regulations but Paul’s action disrupted the process and noise erupted from different quarters while he incited other passengers against the airline’.
The airline, which revealed further that FAAN Security was notified as the passengers were trying to gain entrance to the airfield even when the aircraft was not yet on ground, added that FAAN Security was compelled to lock the Boarding Gate to prevent the passengers from going to the airfield, a highly regulated part of the airport.
“At 22:35, we called for boarding for the remaining 46 passengers. Due to his violent behaviour, Paul was arrested by FAAN Security. The action was taken in the best interest of the passengers and the airline. Also, the lady, Okoroafor Rita, who recorded the video being circulated, without the consent of those being recorded, was arrested by FAAN Security. FAAN Security repeatedly told her to stop recording but she did not. These arrests made some other passengers become unruly but with reinforcement from FAAN Security, the situation was managed, and the remaining passengers were able to board.”, it added.
Air Peace noted that that the arrests of Paul and Rita were done by FAAN Security in line with their standard procedures.
“Again, we sincerely apologise for the inconveniences experienced by the passengers last night as a result of the flight delay as it was caused by unavoidable operational factors. Air Peace is committed to providing Nigerians safe and seamless connectivity across cities and will not deliberately delay flights.”, the airline added.