The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace, Festus Keyamo, has disclosed United Nigeria flight diversion that happened on Sunday was not due to bad weather conditions.
The minister said this while meeting with airline operators in Abuja on Monday
Recall the Lagos-Abuja flight of United Nigeria Airlines was diverted to Asaba, Delta State capital, due to poor weather conditions.
The flight, NUA 0504, took off on Sunday from the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Terminal 2, and was headed for Abuja.
However, the pilot grounded the aircraft at the Asaba International Airport, and that caused some confusion among the passengers.
United Airlines had attributed the diversion to bad weather conditions, saying “A United Nigeria Airlines flight, NUA 0504, operating from the MM@ in Lagos enroute Abuja on Sunday, November 26, 2023, was temporarily diverted to the Asaba International Airport due to poor destination weather.”
Recall that Keyamo summoned heads of aviation regulatory agencies over safety concerns in the sector.
The minister’s invitation came less than 24 hours after Sunday PUNCH’s story of November 26 with the title, “Risky voyage: Passengers fret over increasing runway slips, crash-landings.”
The report mirrored the harrowing experiences of air passengers who have recently escaped episodes of runway excursions, crash landings, and other slips.
It also revealed the concerns of several aviation stakeholders and the challenges faced by the sector regarding infrastructure, management and navigational safety, amongst others.
In 14 days, the country witnessed three runway excursions in two international airports.
So far, there have been no fewer than 10 reported incidents this year.
Keyamo, while speaking said, “It was clear that when the pilot was taking off from Lagos, he was headed to Asaba, not Abuja.
“Whereas the flight was headed to Abuja. There was no weather problem in Abuja. It was a question of a wet lease where the pilot and the crew were all foreigners, not Nigerians.”