Air­lines suf­fer losses as har­mat­tan dust causes flight de­lays

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - From Ab­dul­la­teef Aliyu, La­gos

Flight op­er­a­tions in Nige­ria have been dis­rupted in the past two weeks by har­mat­tan haze with ac­com­pa­nied dusts which blurred vis­i­bil­ity, Daily Trust can re­port.

The sit­u­a­tion has led to de­lay in over 50 per cent of flights oper­ated at the do­mes­tic level.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions showed that the North East, South East and South-South are mostly af­fected by the har­mat­tan haze.

Though, there have not been much can­cel­la­tions of flights, flights were be­ing de­layed while some flights were di­verted when air­craft could not land due to poor vis­i­bil­ity oc­ca­sioned by the har­mat­tan haze.

Daily Trust re­called that the Nige­rian Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity (NCAA) had is­sued weather alert cir­cu­lar to pi­lots and oper­a­tors to take suf­fi­cient safety pre­cau­tions over the har­mat­tan haze.

An Air­line source told our cor­re­spon­dent yes­ter­day that the har­mat­tan haze was re­spon­si­ble for re­cent de­lays ex­pe­ri­enced na­tion­wide with pas­sen­gers grum­bling.

Air­lines in­clud­ing Az­man, Air Peace, Dana, Arik, among oth­ers are af­fected by the devel­op­ment.

Spokesman of Air Peace, Chris Iwarah told our cor­re­spon­dent yes­ter­day that the har­mat­tan haze has been af­fect­ing their flights and adding to their cost of op­er­a­tion since they had to di­vert flights in some cases.

He said, “It has be­gun to grad­u­ally af­fect op­er­a­tions. Some­times flights are di­verted to other des­ti­na­tions or de­layed at the point of de­par­ture, thus af­fect­ing all routes to be ser­viced by the air­craft.

“This also means added cost for us, as we now burn more fuel and in­cur other as­so­ci­ated ex­penses. But we are strate­gi­cally han­dling the sit­u­a­tion with the size of our fleet with­out com­pro­mis­ing safety, which is at the core of our op­er­a­tions.”

Also speak­ing, Mr. Saminu Tanko, an of­fi­cial with Az­man Air said though the Air­line had not can­celed its flights, many were de­layed, adding that the far North­ern States like Bornu, Kano and Adamawa worst hit.

Tanko how­ever con­firmed that the sit­u­a­tion was bet­ter this year be­cause of im­proved In­stru­ment Land­ing Sys­tem (ILS) fa­cil­i­ties pro­vided by the Nige­rian Airs­pace Man­age­ment Agency (NAMA). were be­ing

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