A bird strike incident at the Ilorin airport forced Med-View Airline to abort airlifting of pilgrims to Mecca, Saudi Arabia for the 2017 hajj exercise.
A statement by the media consultant to the airline, Mr. Obuke Oyibotha said that the incident affected its Boeing 767 aircraft with 222 passengers on their way to pilgrimage.
He hinted that the incident occurred when the aircraft was taxiing for take-off, stressing that this forced the pilot to abort the flight.
Oyibotha, however, said that the pilgrims were immediately de-boarded while arrangements had been made to airlift them today.
The airline also said it had dispatched a team of engineers to Ilorin to get the aircraft back to service.
It assured that “all pilgrims that the scheduled flights for their airlift to the holy land will not be affected by the incident.”
This is the second time in less than three months that Med-View Airline aircraft would be grounded due to bird strike.
Mid May, its B737 with the registration number 5N-MAA was hit by birds at the Maiduguri Airport.
A source close to the airline told our correspondent then that the incident occurred in the evening, few seconds the aircraft took off from Maiduguri with Abuja-Lagos passengers.
The pilot had to immediately make an air return to base and disembark all the passengers who were later told to return to their various homes for another rescheduled flight the next day.
Also, a research conducted by our correspondent, recently revealed that Nigerian airlines lose at least $15 million (about N5.4 billion) annually to bird strike incidents across the country’s airports and airfields.
There are at least 10 bird strike incidents, affecting Nigerian carriers yearly in the sector.