Air Peace Aircraft Damaged by NAHCO Staff

By our Reporter

It is yet unsure why a NAHCO staff has damaged an aircraft belonging to Peace Air. But it can be authoritatively reported that an operator of an equipment owned by the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc, Thursday, rammed nto an aircraft belonging to Air Peace at the Murtala Muhammed Intl Airport, Lagos, thereby disrupting the airline’s flight operations.

Very reliable information gathered indicate that this is the third time, in one month, that NAHCO equipment had damaged Air Peace aircraft, thus raising the fear of sabotage and insider threat.

With this development, Air Peace has insisted that the sequence of the damage has given strength to suspicion of sabotage against its operations by some unscrupulous elements in the industry and 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.

Meanwhile, a credible source who witnessed the incident disclosed that the damaged aircraft was an Airbus A320 with the registration number: A320 ES-SAZ and the equipment was said to have hit the aircraft elevator, which damage may have reverberated to the aircraft airframe that would demand complex repair.

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Yet the source said, before the incident occurred, the aircraft was scheduled to airlift passengers from Lagos to Owerri on a 7am flight, while the same airplane was positioned for about 10 flights on the day of the incident.

Contacted, the Air Peace spokesman, Mr. Stanley Olisa, confirmed the incident and said the aircraft would be grounded until when it would be repaired, which would take some time.

Mr. Olisa alleged that its operations were being sabotaged by some people in the sector and wondered if it was meant to reduce its capacity, stressing that the airline would lose billions of naira in revenue for the period the aircraft would be out of operation.

He said, “This is the third time, in one month, that our aircraft were damaged by the handling company. 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 and that is why we fear that what happened might be sabotage.

“This is going to cause revenue loss for us as an airline. The aircraft was scheduled to operate several flights Wednesday, but could not do so, causing flight disruptions and delays.

Olisa emphasised that, “The authorities should investigate the incident and take necessary actions. We have made a formal complaint to NAHCO management on the development and will also report the incident to the regulatory authority.”

Furthermore, Dr. Sola Obabori, the Group Executive Director, Business and Corporate Services (GED), NAHCO, confirmed the incident to reporters.

Oabori, however, ruled out sabotage from any staff of the handling company, describing Air Peace as its prime client.

The GED insisted that its entire staff, including the airside staff were well-trained and certified by both local and international bodies.

Thus, he maintained that the handling company would investigate the incident, stressing that its management would discuss with Air Peace management on it.

Olabori also said the handling company had filed a report on the incident, adding that the company had commenced an engagement with the airline.

He said again that, “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.

According to him, “Our staff are well-trained, but 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 explained that, “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.

As he put it, “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.”

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