Hundreds of air passengers out of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos today had their journeys truncated due to a bad weather situation, which forced many airlines to either delay or out-rightly cancel their flights.
Mostly affected by the hazy weather condition were flights to Uyo, Port Harcourt, and Calabar Airports.
At the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the Lagos Airport, flights hitherto scheduled to depart to the three airports could not fly as at 5 pm.
Airlines mostly affected by the hazy weather at Lagos Airport are Air Peace, Dana Air, and some operations of Med-View Airline.
Also, passengers who had hoped to leave Lagos to other cities were still stranded at the airport. A source told our correspondent that the situation was the same in Abuja Airport as hundreds of passengers could not depart the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to other destinations within the South South area of the country.
At the airport, Air Peace also has flights to Uyo, Calabar and Port Harcourt Airports at 6:30 pm.
One of the Air Peace passengers, Mr. Chris Ozuora who spoke with our correspondent said that the airline sent a text message to some of the affected passengers on the rescheduling of the flight to Uyo.
According to Ozuora, the Uyo flight was originally scheduled for 10 am, but as at 4 pm, the flight was yet to depart the airport for Uyo.
He, however, attributed the delay to bad weather condition at Uyo Airport, hoping that the flight would depart as scheduled.
Ozuora said: "We have been at the airport since early morning for a 10 am flight, but here I am not sure of when I will eventually leave this airport for Uyo. The airline has told us that they are ready to depart once they get a favourable update on the weather condition there."
“This is bad that it is happening in this country when airlines outside this country even in Ghana and other neighbouring African countries can take to the sky even with 400 visibility. We need to improve on our facilities at the nation’s airports.”
Another passenger, Mrs. Pejuola Adebowale lamented that she had a business meeting to attend to in Port Harcourt, but could not go as arranged due to bad weather.
She called on the government to improve on navigational facilities at the airports, saying that delays and cancellations hampered business growth.
Corporate Communications Manager of Air Peace, Mr. Chris Iwarah, confirmed delayed and cancelled flight operations by the airline.
He emphasised that the delays were caused by weather and technical challenges, declaring that Air Peace would only operate a flight when it would not endanger the lives of its guests and crew in line with its uncompromising stand on safety.
Since December 23, 2017, Harmattan haze has reduced visibility to many airports in the southern part of Nigeria.
Over the weekend, Med-View Airline apologised to passengers over delayed and cancelled flights, attributing it to poor visibilities at those airports.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), recently issued a statement warning passengers to desist from violent reactions when flights are cancelled or delayed because such actions are taken to ensure safety and also issued directives to airlines and pilots to always abide by weather reports, which are critical to safe flight operation.