ARIK Air: A Disaster Waiting To Happen
On the 7the of March 2021, I boarded an ArIk fight from Abuja to Benin. The flight was 5.50 pm from Benin. The take-off from Benin Airport was traumatic and clearly indicative that the plane was not in order.
I was to return back to Benin on the 8the March 2021 at 4.15 pm with same aircraft.
After an hour delay, we managed to take off. 15 minutes into the flight, there was an announcement from the pilot that the flight cannot continue. The reason given was that there is an opening somewhere maybe a door. The plane is to return back to Abuja before any disaster.
One hour after the announcement, the plane was still hovering around and could not land. The pilot explained that he had to burn out fuel before landing. At this time, those praying have ceased. Those wailing have become quiet too.
Suddenly the pilot announced that he was about to land. He assured us that fire brigade was fully mobilised on ground as well as NEMA. Tension increased once more inside the aircraft. Prayers started once more
However, we managed to land at the Abuja Airport .
Two passengers confirmed that they had two previous experiences with the same aircraft. Another narrated how one of the aircraft engine had failed to start in an aborted Lagos – Abuja flight.
I have not recovered from the trauma.
I am told that the particular aircraft is still flying.
It appears that AMCON the new manager of Arik Air is only interested in recouping the debt owed by Arik Air which they have purchased from the banks. And in doing that, passengers’ lives don’t matter.
This is a warning to all air travelers. ARIK AIR IS A DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN UNLESS URGENT STEPS ARE TAKEN TO GROUND THEIR AIRCRAFT WHICH ARE NO LONGER SERVICEABLE.
R. O lsenalumhe Esq ( Benin based legal practitioner)