An embarrassing picture of showing passengers disembarking from a Boeing 737 aircraft, at the Bauchi airport with a ladder, went viral on social media over the weekend.
According to Punch Newspapers, the Federal Government has instituted a probe into the matter to ascertain why it happened.
The airline in the centre of the matter, Aero Contractors has issued a statement explaining the incident.
“A special charter flight, operated by Aero to Bauchi, had problems with unserviceable equipment by the airport management in disembarking about 34 passengers from Abuja. Consequently, against the airline’s wish and operational safety guideline, the passengers used a ladder to disembark.
“However, at the time of boarding, the air stairs were functional and the passengers boarded successfully. Aero wishes to state that it took adequate and safety measures for this operation, including the airport’s ground staff, to handle the air stairs equipment in Bauchi. Unfortunately, it became unserviceable at the point of disembarking.”
Also speaking on the incident, the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika said the incident was un-acceptable and inconsistent with aviation best practices and standards.
Sirika added that the probe was to determine how to avoid a re-occurrence of the un-safe incident and also find out the root cause.
Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) has denied any involvement in the incident saying “The attention of NAHCO has been drawn to reports on the social media that it was its failure to provide handling service to Aero that caused passengers to disembark with a ladder at the airport.
“Nothing can be farther from the truth. NAHCO does not have operations in Bauchi. This fact is known to Aero and all our client airlines. So, for Aero to embark on that chartered flight to Bauchi, it definitely would have made private arrangements.”