The alternative aircraft provided by Max Air for the 554 intending pilgrims from Jigawa State has again returned to the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) after departing for Saudi Arabia on Thursday.
Recall that the aircraft earlier provided for Jigawa pilgrims had survived an emergency landing at MAKIA a few minutes after taking off from Dutse, Jigawa State capital, on Wednesday.
But the alternative aircraft provided by the airline which took off around 2am on Thursday had to return to the airport around 5am after it also developed some faults in Cameroon airspace en route to Saudi, Daily Trust gathered.
A source at the airport who confirmed the incident to Daily Trust said an arrangement was ongoing to provide an alternative plane.
“They are here and the first aircraft that airlifted them from Dutse has been fixed and they are expected to use it to airlift the pilgrims,” he said.
The Managing Director of Max Air in Kano, Malam Bello Ramalan, who confirmed the incident to Daily Trust, said the pilgrims would be airlifted to Saudi Arabia later in the day.
“The first flight was not an emergency landing, because there was nothing wrong with the engine of the aircraft. It had to do with the windscreen. But for the second flight, we have not yet ascertained the failure. We are now working on an alternative for the pilgrims. As we speak now, the intending pilgrims are healthy. We provided food and all the necessities for them,” he said.