Low capacity disrupts Med-View Lagos-London operations
Inadequate capacity in the international operations of Med-View Airlines has been attributed as the cause of disruptions witnessed in its Lagos-London operations in the last five days, leaving scores of passengers stranded in Lagos and United Kingdom (UK).
The Guardian learnt that whereas the designated aircraft, a wet-leased Boeing 747 plane was due for C-checks, it has no back-up, as its two alternatives are temporarily prohibited from Europe.
Meanwhile, the airline yesterday resumed scheduled flights on the London route with the arrival of the much-awaited Boeing 747 aircraft from London Gatwick. Some of the stranded passengers in Lagos were also set for departure at 9:55 p.m. on the second leg of the trip.
Med-View, with about seven aircraft fleet-size, has only an aircraft on the route until the European Union (EU) in May temporarily restricted it from flying to the region over alleged safety concerns and certification audit that has not been updated.
Sources at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) also said that another aircraft that could have replaced the Boeing 767 had earlier been suspended from flying for undisclosed reasons.
Spokesperson of the NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, said notwithstanding challenges with capacity, the airline’s handling of stranded passengers was in order, as the airline either refunded or lodged passengers in hotels pending resumption of operations.
An official of Med-View, Obuke Oyibotha, stated that the flights’ disruption on the route was compounded by an incident at Gatwick Airport, which affected other airlines, and also the inability of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to grant the necessary permits over the weekend for charter flights to clear the backlog of passengers.
Oyibotha said the good news, however, is that the airline has commenced the airlift of passengers on the Lagos-London route, adding that the B747 aircraft will enter service also Tuesday night with another flight from London arriving Lagos in the early hours of today.
He said they were set to resume normal three weekly flights schedule today.
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