An aircraft in the fleet of Arik Air has suffered a major damage barely 24 hours after the airline announced the relocation of its Lagos- Port Harcourt operations to the terminal two of Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA2).
It was gathered that a ground handling equipment belonging to the Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) bumped into an Arik Air aircraft at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two (MMA2), Lagos on Sunday.
In the incident, the left side leading edge of horizontal stabilizer of the aircraft, a Boeing 737-700 with the registration number 5N-MJJ was stepped on at the ramp of MMA2.
Arik Air had operated all its flight operations out of Lagos from the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos for 11 years as it refused to move to the MMA2, citing the problem of inadequate space. But the new management of the airline under the control of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) decided to move one of its routes to the terminal over the weekend.
Arik Air in a statement by its spokesman, MR. Ola Adebanji said that the management had reported the incident to the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Adebanji said this was in line with the standard operating procedure and the airline’s high safety standards.
He added: “Another aircraft was provided immediately for the Port-Harcourt bound passengers. The airline’s engineers later fixed the damaged aircraft which has since returned to service.”
In another incident, Adebanji said that the airline’s Bombardier CRJ900 marked 5N-JEB, operating Owerri-Lagos flight has been grounded at the Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri.
He said this was as a result of a technical issue on ground at the Sam Mbakwe airport in Owerri during a pre-departure procedure.
He noted that a relief aircraft was immediately sent to Owerri to take the already checked in passengers to Lagos with minimum delay.
Arik Air, which at its peak had over 30 aircraft now has less than 10 aircraft in its fleet.
The incident is happening just three months after the handling equipment of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc destroyed an Air Peace aircraft in Lagos.