Contrary to the claim of United Nigeria Airline that the Port Harcourt/Abuja flight incident on June 4, 2021, was exaggerated, one of the passengers, sharing her experience via Instagram, has narrated what she described as a near-crash event.
The passenger who introduced herself as Christiana alleged that when the aircraft arrived at Abuja the pilot announced that the weather was bad and had to reroute to Port Harcourt but the aircraft was in the air for about 2 hours before it began to vibrate.
Christiana’s narration of her experience on the flight
“I don’t mean to ‘spoil’ business for the airline but their claim that our experiences were exaggerated is not true because I saw my life flash before my eyes. We got to Abuja, we couldn’t land and we were suspended in the air for over 2 hours, and the air hostesses were crying.
I expected the airline to reach out to the passengers on the flight before claiming nothing happened on that Friday. We left PH around 5 pm, getting to Abuja, the pilot announced that the weather was bad and if he could not land we will go back to PH.
Suddenly, the aircraft started making loud noise, tilting left and right. At a point, we all thought it was going to crash because I was 99.9% sure that the aircraft was going to crash, as we were screaming and praying. At a point, the aircraft went up high and we experienced that for over 30 minutes.
“When he finally landed in PH, the whole passengers knelt down thanking God for sparing their lives. How can the airline claimed that we exaggerated the incident that made many passengers to throw up in the aircraft?”
Click here to see the passenger’s video on Instagram:
What United Airline is saying about the mishap
In a statement issued and signed by it’s Head, Corporate Communications, Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu, and seen by Nairametrics, the airline said:
“A United Nigeria flight number US 0515 departed PHC with clear and good weather forecast.
However, on arriving Abuja, it experienced moderate turbulence, which necessitated diverting as weather conditions were below our operating requirements. The crew took the required and correct decision to return to PHC.
Hence, at no time was the aircraft in any danger whatsoever. Our experienced crew acted in utmost professionalism, which the passengers profusely commended and complimented.”
Nairametrics made unsuccessful attempts to reach the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as the agency’s spokesperson, Sam Adurogboye, did not respond to the calls and messages of our analyst.
What you should know about United Nigeria Airline
United Nigeria is a new domestic airline with an operational hub in Enugu State. It commenced flight operations on Friday, February 12, 2021, connecting passengers from various states in Nigeria.
The airline, which commenced operations with four aircraft, started operations to Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Asaba, Owerri and Port Harcourt, while it plans to expand to other destinations soon.
Speaking during the ceremony to mark the inaugural flight in Enugu, Obiora Okonkwo, Chairman of United Nigeria, said he observed a gap in the industry which was one of the reasons the airline made Enugu its operational hub.