Power outage at the the Ibom Airport, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital on Friday night stopped an Arik Airline flight W3 533 from landing, as landing was aborted.
The flight which had about 50 passengers on-board, left Abuja for Uyo around 7pm, but returned to base two hours later with the same passengers on-board.
“This shows that it could not land at the Uyo airport for reasons best known to the pilot and the managers of the airport. But after about two hours or more, it came back, meaning that it must have spent sometime hovering in the sky,” a source at the airport told Punch on Saturday.
What could have resulted in a mishap was averted after the pilot flew back into the air on sighting a blackout on the runway, which sources said was due to technical issues at the airport.
Coordinating General Manager, Corporate Communications, Aviation Parastatals, Mr. Yakubu Dati, when contacted on the matter said the airport was not under the jurisdiction of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria.
Although he said he heard of the incident, Dati said he needed confirmation from the airline and the airport officials before issuing any statement or making further comments.
Confirming the development, Arik Air spokesman, Mr. Banji Ola, said the passengers were rescheduled to travel with another flight.
He wondered why a power outage would occur at such time of the night, stressing that air returns negatively impact on the revenue of an airline.
“There was an air return to Abuja from Uyo but it was not Arik’s fault and you know how such situations impact on an airline’s revenue.
“This means additional cost for the company because we have to reschedule the flight and bear the expenses, which of course is the normal thing to do. However, I can confirm to you that there was an air return from Uyo to Abuja airport, as you requested.”