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NAHCO Begins Investigation, Suspends Personnel over Damage to Air Peace Aircraft

NAHCO staff drove equipment and rammed it on the aircraft, an Airbus A320 which has since been grounded.

The Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) has announced the suspension of personnel involved in the damage of Air Peace aircraft at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on Wednesday.

The airline’s aircraft waiting to take in passengers for its first flight of the day was damaged when NAHCO Plc staff drove equipment and rammed it on the aircraft, an Airbus A320 with registration number ES-SAZ.

NAHCO said it has opened investigation on the incident, stating that the airline has been doing business with the handling company since it started flight operations.

In a statement signed by the Group Executive Director, Business and Corporate Services, NAHCO Plc Dr. Sola Obabori, the company said it was deeply saddened by the unfortunate incident of NAHCO equipment, which impacted an Air Peace aircraft.

“Air Peace is the biggest privately owned airline in Africa, and we are proud to have them as one of our prime clients. We share a very cordial relationship with the airline, and we have been together all these years serving them diligently and professionally, since inception.

“We have invited the relevant regulatory and security agencies to swing into action and especially investigate the subject of sabotage and take an independent look at the incident. To enable proper and unhindered investigation, some senior operations officials have been suspended, while some others are being investigated,” the statement added.

Air Peace expressed sadness over the incident because it disrupted its operation, as the airline, which was damaged had 10 flight rotations that day, but was damaged at the time it was carrying out its first service, which was 7:30 am flight to Owerri from Lagos.

THISDAY learnt from the airline that the aircraft was grounded immediately after the incident and before repair would be carried out, it would be inspected by officials from Airbus and while it is grounded, the airline would be losing revenue.

The equipment was said to have hit the aircraft elevator, which damaged it and might have reverberated to the aircraft airframe.

Chinedu Eze