By Sade Williams
Medview airline on Thursday, explained why it could not airlift some passengers in and out of London-Gatwick, saying one of the aircraft conveying the passengers out of London, made an air return.
The airline apologized to its teeming customers, saying it was working to nomalise the situation.
“Our flight VL 2101 out of London to Lagos on Friday December, 22 which has about 300 passengers on board returned back to Gatwick after departure as a precautionary measure taken by the Pilot- in – Command (PiC) in line with Aviation Standard and Recommended Practices.
“This led to cancellation of the flight as the aircraft was declared AOG (Aircraft On Ground). The passengers were catered for, they were lodged in a hotel and those who decided to go back home were also taken care of.
“After the aircraft was declared AOG, we had to wait for a maintenance report. The aircraft had to remain on ground until a certified expert carries out the necessary checks and certify that the aircraft is airworthy. So the holiday compounded the problem.
“In line with that confirmation, we decided to seek for a relief flight and tried as much as possible go get the approval from both the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Nigeria and the CAA of United Kingdom in Gatwick. We attest to their full cooperation and we appreciate them”, Michael Ajigbotosho, chief operating officer of the airline explained in a statement from London.
According to him, the airline ‘announced to operate three flights feeling the concern of all our passengers. On Wednesday December 27, we positioned three aircraft after securing the approval of the CAA including Nigerian authority.
He said disappointingly, due to the unruly behaviour of some Nigerian passengers, the Border Force had to intervene to support the operations for crowd control purposes.
“These three aeroplanes would have evacuated 700 passengers which would have normalised the situation. But the passengers neither understood or knew the challenges ahead which resorted into having a delayed operation and crew rest and we ended up operating two flights out of three.
“We use this medium to appeal to our Nigerian customers. As much as we appreciate their patronage and apologize for the experience they went through this Christmas, we seek for their understanding to know that their safety comes first before any other thing. We feel their concern and the expectations of meeting their families for the Christmas Holiday. Our normal flights resume on Friday for London, Dubai and Jeddah”, he said.