About 243 passengers of Qatar Airways checked-in the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) for a flight to Doha this morning were deplaned because of a technical problem.
The Airbus A330-302 aircraft, with registration number A7AEH, was scheduled to depart at 11:20 am carrying 19 Business Class and 220 economy class passengers, including four infants, but it returned to the ramp at 11:38hrs after the captain reportedly discovered a technical snag” in the cockpit.
A source close to the airline told our correspondent that airline engineers then worked on the aircraft, but without success, following which the passengers were disembarked and taken to a hotel.
Our correspondent also gathered that some passengers traveling to Doha on Sunday also could not do so due to [a/the] faulty button in the cockpit of the aircraft which the pilot discovered while taxiing for departure on the runway
On Sunday, some of the passengers eventually traveled out on Ethiopian Airlines, with airline planning to put the remaining passengers on some other foreign airlines, but the management failed to do.
At exactly 17:30 on Sunday, the airline eventually canceled the flight due to the inability of the engineers to rectify the problem with the aircraft and sent the passengers to different hotels in Ikeja.
At the terminal today, the remaining passengers, frustrated since Sunday, besieged the airline's check-in counters demanding to be put on any available flight to enable them to meet up with their engagements outside the country.
One of those passengers, Rev. Segun Agbetuyi, confirmed in a text message sent to our correspondent that the affected passengers met with a new shock today.
"They woke us all up at 4.30am this morning to bring us to the airport for boarding only to get to the airport and find that little arrangement had been made, "he said.
The spokesperson for the Lagos Airport Police Command, DSP Joseph Alabi, who confirmed the development, said the issue had been resolved.
He said: "They have left since and the issue has been resolved. I learnt that there was a delay and the passengers were not happy.
"However, when I arrived, I saw things moving smoothly at the check-in and I was informed that arrangement has been made to convey them to their destinations.”
On his part, a media consultant to the airline who simply gave his name as Mr. Mike said the passengers were agitated because they had been in the hotel for two days and their flights delayed.
“They need to get to their destinations and so when they came in here; it was a crowd but we have sorted out the issue and put some of them on the flight. The few of them that [are] remaining, we are taking them to other airlines," he said.
As of the time of filing this report, the faulty aircraft was still on the ramp at the airport.