Weeks after Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said it would ensure airline companies compensate passengers of diverted flights, the British Airways has stated that it is set to compensate passengers with such experience.
Airlines had experienced delays and diversion of flights due to the resurfacing of Harmattan in January, which caused poor visibility. This affected movement of flights into Nigeria, with some forced to divert to Accra, Ghana.
British Airways was one of the affected airlines, as it diverted its passengers to Ghana for safety reasons. This action was expected, as stated in a previous Nairametrics report, and according to the General Manager of West Africa, British Airways, Kola Olayinka, the delays and diversion were unfortunate but necessary.
Olayinka said, “We regret the frustrations experienced and the disruptions it would have had on earlier-planned engagements of our esteemed customers.
“We would also like to use this opportunity to encourage passengers to send receipts of expenses incurred during this period to our customer relations team on standby to process the reimbursements and also attend to queries.”
He added that, “Regrettably, in this unique case, most hotels were taken up by passengers of airlines that were earlier diverted to Abuja. The direct result was the inadequacy of accommodation.
“To resolve this, we booked all 157 available rooms and accommodated 157 passengers.
“We also ensured the safety of the remaining passengers by accommodating them in a dedicated area provided by Sheraton where we provided meals and drinks.”
British Airways not alone: Harmattan hays caused flight cancellation and delay in the Nigerian Aviation sector grounding foreign airlines throughout the said week. The harmattan led to poor visibility for the planes intending to fly in or out of the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos State.
Aside from the British Airways flights, other airlines such as Qatar Airways, Emirates, Delta Airways and KLM were also affected. Companies like Air Peace and Arik had to issue weather advisory to passengers as the foggy weather worsened on Wednesday, January 12, 2020.