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An airline is being investigated for a flight that landed around 200 miles from its planned destination, causing flight disruptions and leaving passengers stranded.
A flight operated by United Nigeria Airlines departed from Lagos on Sunday, en route to the Nigerian capital of Abuja. The domestic journey spans approximately 320 miles.
The plane landed at Asaba International Airport. It would be like expecting to arrive in London but ending up in Tenby, Wales.
Unexpectedly, the passengers were informed that they had arrived in Abuja, the city they were supposed to land in.
Simple Flying reported that the airline initially apologized, citing “poor destination weather” as the reason for the plane’s diversion. They also stated that the pilot was aware of the temporary diversion and had been properly briefed at all times.
“Unfortunately, the cabin crew made an incorrect announcement upon safely landing in Asaba, causing confusion among the passengers.”
Afterwards, the validity of this explanation has been called into question, as the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) investigates the incident.
According to One Mile at a Time, Festus Keyamo, the aviation minister of Nigeria, stated that it was evident that the pilot was departing from Lagos with the intention of flying to Asaba, not Abuja.
Officials have since disclosed that they have monitored the conversation between the pilots and air traffic controllers. The pilots were repeatedly asked to confirm their destination as Abuja instead of Asaba, but they maintained that the flight was bound for Asaba.
Salihu Tanko Yakasai, who was on the plane and ran for the governorship of Nigeria’s Kano state in elections earlier this year, told BBC Igbo that the “sky was clear”, and the pilot announced that he had received the “wrong flight plan” from Lagos.
According to the speaker, a few passengers were feeling “anxious” because they realized they were not in Abuja.
I have reached out to the NCAA and United Nigeria Airlines for additional details.