Passengers of Air Peace Airline slept on the floor at the Arrival Hall at the MM1 wing of the Lagos airport, Nigeria’s busiest.
NEWS MAIL NG reports that this was due to a delayed flight. The P4 7125 flight from Abuja initially scheduled for 9:00 P.M took off by 11 PM and landed by 12 AM so the travelers had to sleep at the airport due to the nationwide curfew.
You would recall that the Buhari led government announced another phase of restrictions to curtail the spread of COVID-19 on May 10. Ban was placed on human and vehicular movement from 12 AM to 4 AM.
The angry passengers condemned Air Peace Airline for giving them such treatment. One of them told Daily Post :
“I am appalled, enraged! How do you fly people one hour to the start of restriction time. It would have been okay if we took off at 10:00p.m.
“We’re not among the categories exempted from the curfew – health workers, security operatives, journalists. I’m sure regardless of the time, Air Peace staff would make it home or to hotels.
“Sadly, there was no empathy for us who keep them in business, considering that we arrived when most people would not be able to get to their destinations in good time.
“They didn’t even give us snacks and by the time we arrived, the eateries had closed. It is very annoying,” the businessman bemoaned.
On March 22, the federal government directed airlines to resume catering services on domestic flights immediately.
Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, gave the order at the Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja. The pronouncement is being flouted amid what critics describe as ‘casual monitoring’ by regulators.
It was gathered that aside Air Peace, Aero Contractors, Arik Air and Max Air are yet to serve passengers refreshments. However, Ibom Air and United Nigeria offers snacks.
The incessant rescheduling of flights by air transport providers has become a norm in Nigeria with several harrowing experiences, including travelers waiting for hours and missing appointments, among others.
Attempts to engage Air Peace management over the midnight experience failed as none was available for comment.