British Airways has called off flights scheduled to land in the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, from London, in the early hours of Saturday, days after foreign embassies issued terror alerts.
Daily Trust reported that a BA83 flight from London-Heathrow to Lagos was abruptly redirected to the Abuja airport.
The lack of appropriate notification infuriated passengers whose travel plans were interrupted by the cancellation and detour.
Although BA did not give an explanation for the choice, the flight’s detour may have something to do with the fact that several foreign embassies had issued travel advisories to their residents due to the Abuja terror alert.
Foreigners are apparently leaving the country in large numbers despite the federal government’s efforts to ease their concerns, and a major mall in the capital of Nigeria closed on Thursday.
The majority of the passengers, who were bound for Abuja but were carried by BA to Lagos on Thursday, refused to get off the plane and requested that the flight reaching its destination, Abuja.
In a WhatsApp group, one the passengers said, “When they refused and insisted on the flight terminating in Abuja as contracted, the crew threatened to launch tear gas at the mostly Nigerian passengers right in the plane!
“They had been telling people on board since they boarded last night, Abuja. Why must you go to that place! After an uproarious session and an hour on ground, the plane finally took off and arrived in Abuja around 11am.
“There is a lot of mischief afoot on this terror attack warning and it smells like we need to talk less and pull out antennae to their highest gain heights. This is not just a terror warning; there is more schemes and actions of enemies within and without.”
According to information obtained by the source, the flight to Abuja that was scheduled to leave London at 10 p.m. on Friday and arrive at 4:40 a.m. on Saturday has been canceled.
On the flight radar, it was also visible that the flights to Abuja scheduled for Friday and Saturday had been canceled.
However, it was learned that the return flight from Abuja to London took off normally.
As of the time of filing this article, British Airways had not issued an official statement.