An equipment of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc today collided with an Airbus A320 aircraft belonging to Air Peace with the registration number: A320 ES-SAZ at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, damaging the aircraft elevator by the NAHCO stairs equipment.
The incident led to the disrupting the airlines scheduled flight operations.
According to the source, before the incident occurred, the aircraft was scheduled to airlift passengers from Lagos to Owerri for a 7a.m flight, while the same aeroplane was positioned for about 10 flights on the same day, however the incident changed all that causing a ripple that affected the airlines schedule.
Air Peace has said it is suspecting sabotage against its operations and haa called on the relevant authorities to carry out a thorough investigation into the incessant damage to its equipment by the staff of the handling company.
This incident, our correspondent learnt, is the third in one month that an equipment belonging to NAHCO would damage an Air Peace aircraft.
Spokesman of Air Peace, Mr. Stanley Olisa who confirmed the incident said the aircraft was scheduled to airlift passengers to Owerri from Lagos stressing that the airline suspects that its operations were being sabotaged by some people in the sector, wondering if it was meant to reduce its capacity.
He said: “This is the third time in one month. The aircraft is now grounded and we don’t know when it will be up again. The NAHCO staff had no reason to be where he was. He was not assigned to the aircraft and how he rammed into our aircraft is still shocking.
“This is going to cause revenue loss for us as an airline. The aircraft was scheduled to operate several flights today (Wednesday), but could not do so, causing flight disruptions and delays.“The authorities should investigate the incident and take necessary actions. We have made a formal complaint to NAHCO management on the development.”
Group Executive Director, Business and Corporate Services (GED), NAHCO, Dr. Sola Obabori, who also confirmed the incident however, ruled out sabotage from any staff of the handling company, describing Air Peace as its prime client.
Olabori said that the handling company had filed a report on the incident, adding that the company had commenced an engagement with the airline on the incident.
He said: “It is not possible for us to deliberately and maliciously damage our key customer’s equipment. We are doing the best that we can to take care of our customers. Air Peace is a key customer of NAHCO without any doubt. We share a very cordial relationship with them and we have been together all these years, we serve them diligently and professionally.
“Our staff are well-trained, accidents do happen. You will agree with me that aircraft do crash due to human error. In this particular case, our operative was driving to attend to another flight that arrived before Air Peace.
“He was driving towards that direction and wanted to support that operation, but he committed an error in terms of processes he was supposed to follow, which he didn’t follow and that was what caused the incident. The guy had a blind spot, which prevented him from seeing well. We will review what has happened so that there will not be a recurrence again.”