By Okeowo Oladapo
Airline operator, Arik Air has complained about the recent and constant attacks on its staff and properties by aggrieved passengers.
A few days ago, a video went viral showing a bust-up between a passenger and an Arik Air staff member.
The airline in a statement claims that the attack was unprovoked and occurred after passengers were informed of a rescheduling of the Lagos-New York flight from Wednesday to Thursday. A move, they said, that was necessitated by aviation fuel shortage.
Going on, the statement said that other flights were affected by this shortage.
“Our Lagos-Johannesburg service and Lagos- Accra service were also on ground awaiting fuel while the Lagos-New York service was standing by for fuel.
“Aviation fuel supply has been epileptic in the country over the past weeks where availability of stock and terms of service are not guaranteed on a consistent basis by the marketers.
“Arik Air pursued all possible options to source fuel for the international flights but when our Customer Service Manager approached the passengers to explain the situation to them, one of the passengers chased and attacked him. ”
The staff member is said to have needed medical attention after such a “reckless and inhuman attack”
Arik communications manager, Mr Ola Adebanji, strongly condemned these acts and called for peaceful resolution of disagreements. He also expressed his disappointment in the tardiness exhibited by security agencies. The poor security given their staff is a major reason for the ease of harassment and destruction of Arik staff and property.
In a related report, the Sahara Reporters reports that Arik Air “cancelled its London-bound flight due to its inability to purchase aviation fuel. While there is no shortage of aviation fuel in the industry, Arik Air’s supplier refused to sell fuel to the airline due to its debts owed to the supplier.”
The fallout of this is a probable increase in cancelled flights by the airline.