An Azman Air flight from Abuja was on Sunday afternoon reportedly made to hover in the air for more than 30 minutes as it was unable to land at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos due to stormy weather.
One of the passengers in the flight, Achillieus-Chud Uchegbu, said that after the delay, the aircraft eventually landed at the international wing of the airport before taxiing to the domestic wing.
He said, “At the time of take-off in Abuja, the pilot had announced that it would be a 50-minute flight. There was no announcement of a stormy weather in Lagos but the flight that took off at 1:00pm eventually landed at the international wing of the airport at 2:40pm.
“My worry and that of others was that there was a warning about the weather and the rain did not start suddenly. Abuja was very hot at the point of departure but it had been raining in Lagos.”
He said the Boeing 737 plane with flight number AZM2321 was fully booked and had on board a former Governor of Borno State and former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ali Modu Sheriff.
The passenger also claimed that upon landing, all passengers were made to wait as the gangway operator was not in sight.
“We landed and passengers got up to disembark but were told the operator was not in sight. The aircraft was already properly positioned before it was announced inside that we should be patient as they had gone in search of the operator,” he said.
The General Manager, Public Relations, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, in reaction to the incident, told our correspondent that it was unusual for gangway operators not to be on the ground to receive an aircraft at an airport operating for 24 hours.
“The issue will be investigated because it is unusual; Lagos airport operates for 24 hours,” he said.
On the issue of weather, Adurogboye said it was up to the pilot to take a decision in any severe weather condition.