Air Peace flight make air return to Lagos over power outage at $2bn Anambra airport


Abiola Seun

Passengers onboard Air Peace airline, P47336, were on Saturday, allegedly returned to Lagos 15 minute to landing at the $2 billion Anambra International Cargo, Passenger Airport located at Umueri in Anambra East Local Government Area.

The air return, according to investigation, was due to darkness that engulfed the airport, which was described as one of the best in Sub-Saharan Africa with  3.7km runway and 34.4m control tower.

According to the pilot, this runway was dark as at 6pm, thereby, making the runway unsafe for landing of the aircraft.

However, due to the darkness in the airport, the pilot couldn’t land the plane, therefore, did an air return to Lagos 15 minutes before landing on tarmac of the new Cargo/Passenger airport, Saturday evening.

Speaking, some of the passengers said the pilot, shortly before landing the flight at about 6pm at the Umuleri Airport, announced that there was darkness (power failure) at the Tarmac and the entire airport which made it impossible to land the aircraft.

However, for the safety of the passengers, the pilot was said to have returned the more than 100 passengers onboard the airline to Lagos, thereby, touching at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) 2 tarmac few minutes after 7pm.

A passenger, who craved anonymity, however, expressed disappoinment at the development.

According to her, the flight was supposed to be for 2pm but, the airlines didn’t leave until 5pm, making it difficult for them to land due to power outage in the airport.

She said, ”We suspect foul play here and we think it all has something to do with economics,” she said.

‘‘A lot of people are stranded here. As at the time we came off the airplane in Lagos, we were told that an Abuja flight was landing in Anambra.

“Apparently, it would not have been ideal to return to Lagos. The pilot told us that there was darkness everywhere and there was no light on the tarmac and no light in the whole airport, saying that their primary concern was the safety of the passengers.”

Effort to speak with the spokesperson of Air Peace, Stanley Olisa, proved abortive as his phones were switched off.

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