By Lawani Mikairu
British Airways yesterday said it will refund airfares to passengers who are billed to travel with the airline from Abuja during the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja for six weeks for repairs on the runway. This is one of the three options the airline gave concerned passengers yesterday.
This is because the airline has decided not to operate from Kaduna Airport during the closure of Abuja Airport.
Aside the full refund, the other two options are that passengers could rebook their flights to and from Abuja to an alternative date when the airport is open “before or after the runway repairs.”
A statement from the airline’s media consultants, signed by Mr Nosakhare Emma-Iyamu said: “We have been informed that the runway at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja will be closed for extensive repairs between March 7, 2017 and April 19, 2017. Unfortunately this means that we have to cancel all flights to/from the airport for that period of time.
“Customers who are affected are being contacted and offered a choice of three options: A full refund, rebook their flight to/from Abuja to an alternative date when the airport is open before or after the runway repairs have been undertaken or rebook their flight due for Abuja to/from an alternative city of Lagos or Accra. We are awaiting more information from the authorities in Nigeria and at this stage we hope that we can restart our normal flight schedules from Heathrow to Abuja on the evening of April 19 and from Abuja to Heathrow the following morning on April 20, 2017.
“We will update this position as we receive more information about the runway repairs in the coming weeks.’’
British Airways Country Manager, Mr. Kola Olayinka has said the airline plans to assess its best options for its customers during the closure period of the runway.
According to Olayinka , “I can confirm that BA will not be operating to Kaduna during the planned closure of the Abuja Airport. Many factors were considered before this decision was reached. Major ones concern the safety and security of our passengers as well as difficulties around some key operational issues. We are currently evaluating all options for our customers planning to travel at that time and we will be reaching out directly to them for information about their trip.”
He further explained that catering services as well as “adequate technology were not in Kaduna including simple equipment like the Common User Terminal Equipment among others.”