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FAAN withdraws services from MMA2, Gombe, Warri airports

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has notified airlines of the withdrawal of its services to Osubi Airport, Warri, Gombe Airport and Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 (MMA2) over alleged indebtedness.

Henrietta Yakubu, FAAN’s general manager for corporate communications, said the agency had given notices to the operators of the airports and affected state governments before the decision was reached.

The notice is effective from midnight Sunday, December 9.

“We gave them one month notice to pay up their debts; we even advertised in newspapers informing them about the debts but they failed to comply. So, we are withdrawing security and fire service from the airports, without which planes cannot operate,” she said.

Confirming the incident, Adebanjo Ola, Arik Air’s communications manager, said the airline has suspended flights to Gombe and Warri airports.

“Consequently, Arik Air will be suspending its flights to Osubi Airport, Gombe Airport and move Port Harcourt flights out of MMA2 from Dec. 10, until further notice,” he said.

Ola advised Warri passengers to use Benin Airport as alternate while Gombe passengers are to use Bauchi Airport as alternate.

“All Arik Air flights to Port Harcourt Airport, Omagwa, will as from the same date operate from Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal One otherwise known as General Aviation Terminal (GAT).”

MMA2 is being operated by BiCourtney  Aviation Services Limited, owned by Wale Babalakin.

Medview relaunches flights to Yola, Maiduguri

MedView Airline has announced plans to resume flights to Yola and Maiduguri on Dec. 18.

The airline’s Head of Commercial, Mr Henry Trevor, made the announcement in Lagos on Saturday.

Trevor explained that the airline would also increase flight frequency on the Lagos-Abuja route, using the B737-800 NG aircraft.

He said: “The relaunch of its traditional routes is anchored on the re-fleeting programme of the airline.

“More also, the number of flights on the Lagos-Abuja route will increase to three daily round trips on weekdays to offer better departure timings throughout the day.

“Trevor commended the the airline’s passengers for their continued patronage and assured them of better customer service and reliability.
He said Med-View’s management wishes all its loyal passengers a Happy Festive Season and a prosperous New Year in advance.

Airline delays flight as pilot too drunk to fly

Japan Airlines apologised on Thursday after one of its co-pilots was arrested in London for being drunk, delaying its Tokyo-bound flight, a day after another Japanese carrier reported delays blamed on a hung-over pilot.

JAL executives told reporters that the co-pilot cleared an in-house breath test but aroused the suspicion of a bus driver taking him to the plane from Heathrow airport on Sunday.

After a second breath test before takeoff showed that he had consumed “excessive alcohol,” the co-pilot was arrested by British police and required to undergo a blood test which confirmed those results, the company said in a press release.

“We are certain (the in-house breath test) wasn’t conducted properly,” Muneaki Kitahara, JAL’s head of communications, told a press conference.

The plane departed London after a delay of one hour and nine minutes.

“The company sincerely apologises to the passengers and to all affected by the employee’s actions,” JAL said in the press release.

The incident comes only a day after All Nippon Airways revealed a hung-over pilot had caused multiple flight delays.

The male pilot in his 40s called in sick after a night of drinking on the remote resort island of Ishigaki in southern Okinawa prefecture, the company said.

The last-minute sickie forced the airline to delay five flights linking Okinawa island and smaller regional islands, affecting 619 passengers.

Following the two incidents, the transport ministry urged airline companies to strictly comply with rules on drinking.

(AFP)