Air Peace has pledged to take all the necessary measures to ensure the safety of its passengers, crew and equipment after suspected thieves yesterday opened the cargo hold of Flight 7138 holding for departure on Runway 18R (A1) of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
Spokesman for the airline, Mr. Chris Iwarah said in a press statement issued today in Lagos that the airline’s crew acted in line with the high safety standards of the carrier when the incident occurred.
“Pilot-in-command, Capt. Adesola Arasi had to contact control tower when he was alerted by the light that came on in the cockpit suggesting that the cargo hold was opened for about 15 seconds and immediately shut.
“In line with our high security standards and the huge value we place on the lives of our guests and crew, Capt. Arasi insisted on having explosive ordnance department (EOD) squad check Flight APK 7138 before takeoff to be doubly sure nothing was deposited in the cargo hold by the suspected thieves to endanger the lives of our guests and crew.
“Our guests, who were fully briefed of the development by the pilot-in-command, were advised to disembark from the aircraft and board an Air Peace bus while the joint security operation by EOD, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), aviation security (AVSEC) and our security team lasted. The Lagos-Abuja flight was cleared by the security experts after exhaustive screening of the aircraft lasting about 30 minutes.
“The flight eventually took off at 9.30pm and safely landed in Abuja at about 10.23pm. Our satisfied guests commended the professionalism of Capt. Arasi and his team as well as the high safety standards of Air Peace.”
Meanwhile, he expressed appreciation to the passengers for their understanding while the airline and airport authorities carried out thorough screening of the aircraft before it could take off again.
“We are sincerely grateful to all our wonderful guests on board Flight 7138 for their support, patience and cooperation throughout the precautionary security checks conducted by EOD, FAAN, AVSEC,” said Iwarah