AS many as about 1,000 Nigerian passengers may be stranded in the UK uncertain about how they will return home following the folding of Air Nigeria.
Following the decision by Air Nigeria’s management to cease operations on Monday, such passengers are now desperately struggling to recover their money to no avail. These passengers who flew to the UK with Air Nigeria and were due to return with it are now at a loss about what to do because the airline is no longer operational.
One such person is Funsho Arogundade, a correspondent with TheNews magazine and PM News in Nigeria who flew to the UK using Air Nigeria and hoped to return with them. He travelled out on August 25 and was booked to return to Nigeria on September 16 but is now stranded in the UK.
Arogundade said he spent N165,000 for a round trip via Air Nigeria but the airline officials have now vanished from the airport and have also stopped taking calls. He confirmed that close to a thousand people might be affected by the sudden decision of Air Nigeria to stop flying.
In addition hundreds of Nigerians in the UK are facing the loss of about £500 each following the folding of Air Nigeria because they had booked flights for later on in the year not knowing that the airline would go out of business. Such passengers are trying to get a refund so they can fly to Nigeria with another airline.
Meanwhile, Dana Air has begun a process of recertification with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) following the lifting of the suspension on its operating licence. Tony Usidamen, Dana’s head of communications, said that it was standard industry practice for an airline to undergo recertification after its operations have been grounded for several weeks.
He added: “This is a standard safety measure taken by the authorities to ensure that all the aircraft in the fleet are fully serviceable, and we are cooperating fully in the exercise. Of the five aircraft in the airline’s fleet, three are currently at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, while two are undergoing the statutory C-Checks at the MyTechnic engineering base in Istanbul, Turkey.”