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United Nigeria air incident: Keyamo summons heads of aviation agencies amid safety concerns



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The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has summoned heads of regulatory agencies over safety concerns in the aviation industry.

This is coming after a United Nigeria Airlines flight destined for Abuja on Saturday, landed in Asaba, the capital of Delta state.

Passengers said they only realised the mistake after the cabin crew announced “Welcome to Abuja” when they landed in Asaba.

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“We departed Lagos about an hour ago on Fly United to Abuja and upon arrival, the cabin crew confidently announced that we have arrived in Abuja only for us to realise that we landed in Asaba,” Salihu Yakasai, the Kano governorship candidate of Peoples’ Redemption Party in the 2023 election, wrote on his X page.

After about half an hour on the tarmac, the plane was redirected to Abuja. This was after the pilot announced that the “honest mistake” was caused by a mix-up in the flight plan given to him.

In its defence few hours after the incident, United Nigeria Airlines claimed the flight was diverted to Asaba as a result of bad weather.

Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu, the airline spokesperson, said the pilot was properly briefed about the diversion, noting that the cabin crew made “wrong announcement upon landing safely in Asaba [and] created confusion among the passengers.”

“A united Nigeria Airlines flight, NUA 0504, operating from the MM2 in Lagos enroute Abuja on Sunday, November 26, 2023, was temporarily diverted to the Asaba International Airport due to poor destination weather,” the statement reads.

“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.”

There have been cases of passenger jets skidding off the runway in Ibadan and Abuja airports, even as Dana Air reportly had an engine incident last week.

Keyamo, in a statement on Monday, said a comprehensive review of recent incidents will be done in the meeting with the heads of regulatory agencies.

“Due to safety concerns in the aviation sector expressed by members of the public, I have summoned the heads of the regulatory agencies to my office later today to review the incidents that are the cause of these concerns and to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to forestall future occurrence and to apply sanctions, where necessary, regarding the past incidents,” he said.


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