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2 weeks after Bellview plane crash: Foreign airlines shun Lagos airport

Posted by KENNETH EHIGIATOR on 2005/11/08 | Views: 350 |

2 weeks after Bellview plane crash: Foreign airlines shun Lagos airport


BARELY two weeks after the Bellview Flight 210 crash that claimed 117 lives, the bad state of the only functional runway at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, Friday dislocated operations of foreign airlines, as they could not fly out to their various destinations keeping passengers stranded, while some could also not fly in.

*Travellers stranded

BARELY two weeks after the Bellview Flight 210 crash that claimed 117 lives, the bad state of the only functional runway at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, Friday dislocated operations of foreign airlines, as they could not fly out to their various destinations keeping passengers stranded, while some could also not fly in.

This came on the heels of yesterday’s announcement by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) that the airport would be closed to traffic between 7:00 a.m and 4:00 p.m today to make way for permanent repairs work to be effected on the runway. Besides penultimate Saturday’s closure of the runway 18L (left), the airport was also closed for an hour, between 12:00 p.m and 1:00 p.m, yesterday, to effect what FAAN called temporary repairs on the runway.

Sunday Vanguard had reported last week threats by the Board of Airlines Representatives (BAR) to boycott the Lagos airport over the poor state of the runway. A FAAN official who preferred anonymity told Sunday Vanguard yesterday that several of the foreign airlines that flew into the airport Friday night could not fly out, but failed to give reasons.
He said such airlines as British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, amongst others fell into the category, but it was learnt that the action of the foreign airlines was a gradual manifestation of the boycott threat. A call pulled through to Lufthansa Airline’s spokesperson, Mr. Kayode Olaniyan, indicated that the airline had problems flying out. “We didn’t fly out from Lagos yesterday (Friday) because of this runway thing, but I have not confirmed this boycott thing,” Olaniyan said.
Sunday Vanguard also gathered that Virgin Atlantic Airways that usually flies in about 5:00 a.m did not come in yesterday as a result of the same problem. In announcing today’s closure of the airport, FAAN said all aircraft that would be allowed to use the facility after the permanent repairs must have an all-up weight of not more than 230 tonnes.

A statement signed by the general manager, public affairs, Mr. Adeniyi Ajakaiye, said notice to air men (NOTAM) had been issued to all airlines in this regard. Ajakaiye said in the statement: “The management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) wishes to inform the general public, especially air passengers, airline operators and all airport users that runway 18L of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja, will be closed to air traffic between 12 noon and 1.00 p.m on Saturday, November 5, and between 7.00 a.m and 4.00 p.m on Sunday, November 6.

“This is to enable the authority’s engineers effect temporary and permanent repairs respectively on the runway. The authority also wishes to inform all airline operators that after the permanent repairs on the runway on November 6, all aircraft using the runway must have an all-up weight not exceeding 230 tons.”
He advised airlines to ensure their aircraft with all-up weight exceeding 230 tonnes use Abuja and Port Harcourt International Airports until further notice.



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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.