…cite safety and security issues
As preparations are in top gear to relocate flights to Kaduna airport after the closure of the Abuja airport to effects repairs on its runway, four foreign airlines say they are not going there due primarily for safety reasons.
The airlines, South African Airways, Air France -KLM, Lufthansa and British Airways say they are concerned about the safety and security of its teeming passengers and other logistics.
British airways manager in Nigeria, Mr.Kola Olayinka said they were looking for the best options for their passengers during the period of closure.
Commenting on the issue, “I can confirm that BA will not be operating to Kaduna during the planned closure of the Abuja Airport. Many factors were considered before this decision was reached, major ones are concerned about the safety and security of our passengers as well as difficulties around some key operational issues. We are currently evaluating all options for our customers planning to travel at that time and we will be reaching out directly to them for information about their trip”.
Other than the reason, Olayinka explained that catering services as well as the adequate technology were not in Kaduna including simple tech like the Common User Terminal Equipment among others.
Other airlines also cited no comfortable with the security arrangements in place where passengers are made to travel on the road for over an hour not sure what awaits them with the current challenges of boko Haram activities in the northern part of Nigeria.
The Federal government through the minister of state aviation, senator Hadi Sirika assured airlines and passengers that their safety and security concerns are being addressed with massive infrastructure development of the kaduna Airport and rehabilitation of the kaduna Abuja road for seamless facilitation and movement.
About N1.1 billion has been earmarked to cater for transportation, security and other logistics for the period of the closure of the Abuja airport.