… Airline persistently fails to meet obligations
From Suleiman Idris, Lagos
The United Kingdom (UK) airport authority might soon ban Nigerian carrier Medview Airline from flying into Gatwick Airport for various reasons ranging from huge debts, inability to meet critical requirements such as securing the services required to handle passengers at the airport as well provide them with the certainty required to honour tickets passengers purchased in good faith.
The Nigeria carrier on Friday in a statement alleged sabotage of it flight operations into Gatwick Airport following what it termed a deliberate act to sabotage it Europe operation by the management of the airport and it service providers.
But the management of Gatwick Airport in response said the Nigerian carrier was been economical with the true position of things as they claimed that Medview has persistently failed to meet certain requirement to continue to operate the Lagos-London flight into the aerodrome.
The current impasse, the latest among series of logjam between Medview Airlines and the Gatwick Airport Authority since the airline commenced flight operations into London on November 20th 2015 could jeopardise the airline slot allocations at the London airport experts says and ultimately leads to the revocation of it permission to operate into UK.
Last Friday, Isiaq Na-Allah, Executive Director Business Development and Commercial at Medview Airlines in a signed statement made available to journalists by Mr. Obuke Oyibotha, the airline’s Media consultant said after the departure of it flight from Lagos to London on Wednesday 24 Jan, the airline was informally informed by it handling agent that they will not be providing services to the aircraft.
He said attempt to sought the intervention of the Gatwick Authority who is expected to be unbiased was unsuccessful as the airport management also joined the fray surprisingly.
Not wanting to take chances, it sought for alternative handling arrangements to avert an ugly situation which also proved abortive. The statement said.
“Our passengers who were scheduled to come to Lagos on this service were therefore denied boarding and we had to provide accommodations and logistics for them with the hope that we will clear the issue the next day and then operate the service.
Our European partner, EAA came and intervened but this also proved abortive. This we view strongly as unethical and draws a suspicious motive. In order to avoid more embarrassing situations we protected these passengers on other alternative carriers to Lagos. We strongly regret this situation.” Na-Allah added.
PeoplesDaily sought the reaction of the Gatwick management and was informed that the airline has consistently defaulted in its obligations to the airport management, it service providers and passengers.
A spokesperson for the airport disclosed that Gatwick staff have been assisting affected passengers where possible throughout each time it becomes apparent that the airline cannot meet it obligations to passengers and will continue to do so to ensure that Med-View honours its commitments to passengers.
The Spokesperson who simply identified himself as Russell said “The issues with recent Med-View flights have been due to the failure by the airline to secure the services required to handle passengers at the airport.
He reiterated that “The airline has not been meeting its obligations to passengers and has persistently failed to provide them with the certainty required to honour tickets passengers purchased in good faith.
“Gatwick staff have been assisting affected passengers where possible throughout and will continue to work with the airline and other authorities to ensure that Med-View honours its commitments to passengers.” Russell concluded.
Last December 2017 was a turbulent one for the airline as passengers at the international wing of the Lagos airport and Gatwick airport descended on Medview staff having been left stranded for up to five days at the terminals with no alternative to airlift them to their destinations.
Responding to the reaction of the GAA, Mr. Obuke simply challenged the Gatwick management to come clean with the exact amount the airline owes it.
He said in an email that “ LGW should be bold tell how much and “Huge” is the debt”
As at yesterday, the airline is yet to resolve the logjam with the Gatwick airport management, a situation that has left passengers in both terminals stranded for days.