Passengers stranded, as Med-View cancels Dubai, London flights
Scores of passengers were yesterday morning stranded at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos, following the inability of Med-View Airlines Plc to carryout its Lagos-Dubai and Lagos-London flights as scheduled.
The two flights were later cancelled, which angered some of the passengers to stage a drama at the airlines’ section of the international terminal. Meanwhile, the airline that is not unused to rocky moments on the routes has blamed this development on sabotage by the combined efforts of the ground handlers as well as the Gatwick airport authority.
The Guardian learnt that intending travellers to the United Kingdom became extremely agitated after the airline cancelled its Flight VLO209 from Lagos to Gatwick, London that was estimated to depart at 11:30hrs. Some of the passengers alleged that it was the second time the airline had cancelled the flight in two day.
The passengers were joined by 47 passengers lodged at a hotel due to the airline’s previous day cancellation of its Lagos Dubai flight. They all complained of inadequate notifications on the cancellations.It will be recalled that scores of Med-View passengers were also stranded at Gatwick and Lagos airports early this month following an unscheduled maintenance service that had to done on one of the Airlines’ aircraft.
However, the airline yesterday blamed the latest problem on tactical blocking of its operations at the London end.Executive Director, Business Development and Commercial, Isiaq Na-Allah, explained that Med-View was scheduled to travel on its flight in and out of and Lagos yesterday. But, “after the departure of our flight from Lagos to London on Wednesday 24 January, we were informally informed by our handling agent that they will not be providing services to our aircraft.
“We immediately sought intervention of the Gatwick Authority who is expected to be unbiased but joined the fray surprisingly. Not wanting to take chances, we sought for alternative handling arrangements to avert an ugly situation but this proved abortive.”
He added that their passengers, who were scheduled to come to Lagos on this service, were therefore denied boarding. “We had to provide accommodations and logistics for them with the hope that we will clear the issue the next day and then operate the service.
“Our European partner, EAA came and intervened but this also proved abortive. This we view strongly as unethical and draws a suspicious motive. In order to avoid more embarrassing situations we protected these passengers on other alternative carriers to Lagos. We strongly regret this situation.
“As it became evident that our airplane will not be allowed to come and position to Lagos for our next rotation to London, we had no choice other than to cancel our London service today, Friday 26 January.
“This we effectively communicated to our passengers and protected them on other carriers. While some accepted the offer, some rejected insisting they want a particular carrier. We are presently working to resolve with these passengers.”