Confusion as Airpeace denies any landing challenge at SMICA
Contrary to trending new across the Nigerian media that one of the AirPeace flights from Lagos to Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport (SMICA), Owerri narrowly averted land-crashing due to intelligent maneuvering by the Pilot after suddenly observing the presence of Cows on the runway.
Checks by Business Hilights showed that the said report, with the headline: “Plane aborts landing as cows take over Owerri airport runway” was published in the Vanguard on Friday, alleging that Air Peace’s pilot aborted landing when he “discovered that the runway had been invaded by cows.”
The report quoted a certain “Mr. Richard Akinnola,” who was allegedly on the flight, as the source of the story.
But a statement signed by the Corporate Communications Manager of Air Peace, Mr. Chris Iwarah, on Friday dismissed the report of aborted landing as entirely untrue.
The Air Peace statement read in parts: “Our attention has been drawn to a report with the headline: ‘Plane aborts landing as cows take over Owerri airport runway’ published in the Vanguard on Friday, November 11, 2016. Ordinarily, we would have ignored the entirely false report. We, however, owe the nation, our numerous customers and the flying public at large a duty to set the record straight as well as allay the anxiety of members of the public over the unfortunate report.
“For the avoidance of doubt, none of our flights to Owerri or any other destination whatsoever was involved in aborted landing. We have painstakingly gone through all our relevant records and there was no report of any such incident. No report of the purported incident was also logged with the nation’s aviation regulators.
“Indeed, there is no record indicating that anyone with the name ‘Richard Akinnola’ was on any of our flights to Owerri or elsewhere. The only record showing the name involved a cancelled booking reference since June 2016.
“It, therefore, beats our imagination as to how the reporter came about the entirely false report. There was no effort by the reporter to confirm the authenticity of the very sensitive story with us before filing it.
“While assuring the flying public of the high premium we place on the safety of our operations and customers, we urge reporters to always confirm their reports before rushing to the press. At Air Peace, we are always open to the press and indeed members of the public and are at all times willing to respond to any enquiries they may have,” Barr. Iwarah noted.