Battle-ready policemen bar aggrieved passengers from picketing Arik Air

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*MD/EVP of Arik Air, Mr. Chris Ndulue

My N800, 000 is trapped-Passenger

All hell was let loose on Wednesday at Arik Air headquarters as heavily-armed policemen battled aggrieved passengers who went to the company to demand for the refund of their ticket fare.

The stern-looking policemen who came in Toyota Hiace buses, one of which was marked BWR 641 GA barricaded  the entrance to the company’s  premises on Airport Road to prevent any person from either coming out or going in while some patrolled the premises

However, their presence did not deter the angry passengers who hung around and created a scene which disrupted the free flow of traffic on the ever-busy road.

One of the passengers who craved anonymity said her N800, 000 ticket fund had been trapped in the airline since December 23, 2016.

She told News Gazette that she bought air ticket for a group of people who were billed to fly the airline to Johannesburg, South Africa but the flight was cancelled.

“Since that time, I have been unable to get refund. I have been coming to this place since December last year. I bought tickets for some passengers, who were to travel with the airline the same month, but Arik on their own cancelled the flight and they are supposed to refund me, but they have been tossing me up and down,” she said.

Another aggrieved passenger, who also spoke anonymously said his N70, 000 had been with the airline since July last year.

Another woman whose flight was cancelled said she had been calling at the airline to refund her N23, 000 but without avail.

As of the time of handing in this report, the intention of the security operatives was unclear, but a source close to the airline said the management might have invited them to forestall any breakdown of law and order by the aggrieved passengers.

When contacted for comments on the fate of the aggrieved passengers who had besieged the company, the spokesman for the airline, Mr. Ola Adebanji, said refund of air ticket fare “is a standard practice in the global aviation industry.”

However, he would not comment on the heavy presence of armed policemen on the airline’s premises and at the main gate to the company.

“I don’t know if security operatives are there.”

However, he asked: “Don’t you know we have a police post at our premises?”

 

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