Nigeria’s airline operator, Air Peace, has reacted to the incident involving one of its planes at the Port Harcourt International Airport. Air Peace’s Flight P47291 from Abuja to Port Harcourt had crashed landed on Saturday.
The company said the heavy rain caused the Air Peace plane to skid off the runway, thereby ending up in a bush close to the runway. According to the Chief Operating Officer of Air Peace, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Olajide, a deadly crash was averted due to the professional crew of the company.
Olajide said all through the incident, passengers on the plane were calm and disembarked without any problem. He further stated that Air Peace’s team, alongside the authorities, are both investigating the incident.
Air Peace also apologised to the passengers trapped inside the plane during the incident, assuring more safety measures would be put in place to secure lives.
“We confirm that Air Peace Flight P47291 Abuja-Port Harcourt had a runway excursion upon landing at the Port Harcourt International Airport on June 22 due to downpour.
”Our professional crew quickly recovered within seconds of the incident and the aircraft was successfully normalised.
“Our esteemed passengers on board the flight were calm during the incident and disembarked normally.
“Our team of experts and the authorities are currently reviewing the incident and we will give our cooperation for a thorough exercise.
“We apologise to our esteemed passengers for the inconvenience caused them and wish to assure them that we will continue to prioritise their safety in all our operations,” she said.
Air Peace under investigation: The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), an agency saddled with the responsibility of investigating civil aircraft accident in Nigeria’s airspace, has begun an investigation into the Air Peace incident.
AIB said investigators have already been dispatched to the scene of the accident, but no further disclosure has been made by the agency which is under Nigeria’s Ministry of Transportation.
Witch-hunt history: Both AIB and Air Peace have a history of confrontation over concealing information of similar incidents. In the past, AIB has accused Air Peace of a frustrating investigation into incidents involving the company’s planes by not fully co-operating during the investigation, however, Air Peace issued a press statement describing the AIB’s utterances as a “witch hunt”.