On Tuesday, January 10, 2017, Arik Air sent out communication to passengers booked on its Friday, January 13, 2017 Lagos-New York flight that the flight had been rescheduled to operate on Saturday, January 14 at 4:00 pm.
In a press statement signed by Public Relations Manager, Adebanji Ola, the airline disclosed that the rescheduling was necessitated by the uncertainty of getting aviation fuel to operate the flight because of the warning strike called by the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) which was later called off on Thursday, January 12, 2017.
Accordiing to Mr Ola, the airline made efforts to contact all passengers booked on the flight but a handful of them, especially those that bought their tickets through Travel Agents in USA and whose contacts are not on the PNR, still turned up at the airline’s check in counter at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos on Friday and in line with best practices, they were provided hotel accommodation.
To ensure that passengers were not further inconvinienced and allow the airline adequate time to make provision for fuel, the airline again sent out communication to all passengers at 6:30pm on Friday, January 14, 2017 to further move the flight to 2:30 am on Sunday, January 15, 2017.
Again, a handful of passengers who were booked on the same service inadvertently turned up at the airport in the afternoon of Saturday, January 14 and misinformed the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari who was on his way out of the country that they have been stranded at the airport for 48 hours.
Arik Air’s Managing Director and the Deputy Managing Director later met with the Chief of Staff to the President and the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika and informed them that the airline had already made arrangements to take care of the passengers.