Drama and confusion ensued when a Nigerian plane made an incorrect landing, leaving disgruntled passengers stranded for several minutes while the crew worked to correct the situation.
The aircraft, NUA 0504, took off on Sunday from Terminal 2 of the Muritala Muhammed International Airport with the intention of landing in Abuja, but it ended up landing in Asaba.
Due to bad weather, United Nigeria Airlines said on Sunday that the Lagos-Abuja flight had been rerouted to Asaba, the capital of Delta State.
The pilot actually grounded the plane at the Asaba International Airport, confusing the passengers, even though the crew had informed them that they had landed in Abuja.
A user on X (formerly Twitter), @dawisu, tweeted that the pilot was given the wrong flight plan from Lagos.
“Nigeria my country. We departed Lagos about an hour ago on @flyunitedng to Abuja, and upon arrival, the cabin crew confidently announced that we’ve arrived Abuja, only for us to realize that we landed in Asaba. Apparently, our pilot was given wrong flight plan from Lagos.”
However, the airline, through its Head, Corporate Services, Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu, said the flight diversion was due to “poor destination weather.”
The statement read in parts, “A United Nigeria Airlines flight, NUA 0504, operating from the MM2 in Lagos en route Abuja on Sunday, November 26, 2023, was temporarily diverted to the Asaba International Airport due to poor destination weather. At all material time, the pilot of the aircraft was aware of the temporary diversion and was properly briefed.”
“However, a wrong announcement was made by cabin crew upon landing safely in Asaba, creating confusion among the passengers.”
Uchegbu added, “Meanwhile, the aircraft has landed safely in Abuja following improvement on destination weather.”
NCAA Suspends United Nigeria Airlines
THE Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has since suspended all the wet-leased aircraft in the operations of United Nigeria Airlines (UNA).
The suspension is said to be connected with the diversion of the Abuja bound flight from Lagos to Asaba Airport on Sunday by the cabin crew of the airline.
A source close to the agency, said on Monday that the regulatory body took the decisive action on after an emergency meeting held at its headquarters in Abuja.
It was learnt that at the meeting, the NCAA inspectors were not convinced about the claim of the airline that its crew diverted to Asaba following the bad weather situation at Abuja Airport.
It was learnt that all the wet-leased aircraft in its fleet would remain suspended until after the conclusion of the investigation into the incident.
The NCAA’s decision has been communicated to the airline via a letter on Monday.