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US-bound passengers protest as Delta reschedules flight over mechanical fault

Passengers on the Lagos-Atlanta flight on an American carrier, Delta, on Friday protested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) over the rescheduling of their…

Passengers on the Lagos-Atlanta flight on an American carrier, Delta, on Friday protested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) over the rescheduling of their flight.

It was learnt that the airline had boarded passengers for the flight scheduled for 12 p.m only for them to be seated in the aircraft for about four hours.

“We were inside the aircraft for four hours and we didn’t even know what was happening. They initially told us they were trying to get fuel for the aircraft. We were inside the aircraft until when we were told the aircraft cannot depart again because it is faulty,” one of the passengers on board told our correspondent.

The source said the airline had now rescheduled the flight for 9:00 am on Saturday while arrangement was made to accommodate the passengers as of the time of this report in line with the provision of the civil aviation regulations.

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But the passenger who was enraged while speaking to our correspondent decried the treatment meted out to them.

Another passenger who spoke to our correspondent lamented that there are perishable items in his luggage which would have spoiled by Saturday.

“As I am talking to you, they are about taking us to the hotel but we don’t even know which hotel we are going to. Everything is just not proper. At least they should communicate with us where they are taking us to if I am satisfied with the hotel,” he said.

But the Media Consultant to Delta Airline in Nigeria, Mr. Tope Ogbeni-Awe, debunked the protest claim.

Ogbeni-Awe, however, confirmed that the airplane was scheduled to airlift the passengers out of the country on Friday but had to be rescheduled due to mechanical fault and crew time out.

He also explained that all the affected passengers would be lodged in a hotel in strict adherence to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards and recommended practices until they are airlifted on Saturday.

He said: “There is no protest at the airport. The aircraft had a mechanical issue. The aircraft was pushed back and the mechanical fault was addressed, but by the time they were through with the mechanical issue, the crew time was up and there is no way they will continue with such a flight.

“So, what the airline has done is to reschedule the flight for tomorrow morning (Saturday). The airline will also put all the passengers in a hotel for another flight tomorrow morning.”

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