Erroneous landing of United Nigeria flight spurs investigation

By Hoang Vu   December 2, 2023 | 12:42 am PT
Erroneous landing of United Nigeria flight spurs investigation
Passengers gather as they check-in their luggages at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria Sept. 30, 2022. Photo by Reuters
Nigerian authorities have launched a probe after a United Nigeria Airline flight destined for Abuja was accused of making a wrong landing in Asaba, around 300 kilometers from the intended destination.

Late last week, the flight carrying over 230 passengers was supposed to fly from Lagos to Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria, the airline said in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter.

However, the flight mistakenly landed in Asaba, a city some 318 kilometers south of Abuja.

Salihu Tanko Yakasai, a local politician and a passenger on board, wrote in a post on X Saturday that flight attendants initially announced that they had landed in Abuja, the correct destination.

Passengers on the flight expressed confusion and outrage on social media, saying they were informed they had reached Abuja when they actually landed in Asaba, Business Insider reported.

United Nigeria Airlines then apologized for the incident in a statement posted on X Sunday.

The airline said the pilot had intentionally diverted the flight due to poor weather conditions in Abuja.

"However, a wrong announcement was made by cabin crew upon landing safely in Asaba, creating confusion among the passengers," the airline said in the statement, adding that the flight had eventually continued its journey and landed in Abuja.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has decided to launch an investigation into the incident.

In a famous 2020 incident, pilots also landed at a wrong airport in Nepal.

In 2020, Buddha Air flight U4505 was scheduled to travel from Kathmandu to Janakpur in Nepal.

Instead, the 69 passengers found themselves landing over 250 kilometers off course in Pokhara.

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