A Lagos-Owerri Air Peace craft returned to the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, following a false alarm raised by one of the passengers on board.

The passenger had said he smelt smoke from the cabin, a claim which caused the 100 passengers on board to panic.

When the alarm was raised, the cabin crew informed the pilot, who was already mid-air and he immediately returned to base to verify the claim.

On Friday, Chris Iwarah, spokesman of the airline, noted that when the airline's engineer investigated the claim, it was discovered that the alarm was false. However, passengers still had to be put on another flight to Owerri.

Iwarah said the step taken by the pilot was the safety standard practice in the industry and a measure in line with the airline’s zero-risk policy.

He also stated that the pilot landed the aircraft safely in Lagos.

“We confirm that our 9am Lagos-Owerri flight returned to base on Friday after one of our esteemed guests informed our crew that he was smelling smoke in the cabin.

"Although nothing indicated in the flight deck that there was anything wrong with the aircraft, our crew decided to return to base as a precautionary measure and in compliance with our zero-risk policy.

“The aircraft landed smoothly in Lagos and our team of engineers immediately conducted thorough checks on the aircraft, while all our guests calmly remained in their seats. The checks confirmed that there was neither smoke nor any other fault with the aircraft. Despite the assurances of our engineers that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the aircraft, we decided to transfer our valued guests to another aircraft to enable our team do another round of checks in line with our high safety standards.”

He commended the passengers for their calm disposition and cooperation, while the checks lasted.

He also encouraged passengers “to always feel free to share anything they notice”, describing them as “critical stakeholders of the Air Peace family”.

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