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Air Peace Denies Abandoning Passenger at Gatwick Airport - THISDAY

APRIL 12, 2024

Stories By Chinedu Eze

Nigeria’s major carrier, Air Peace, which started Lagos-London flight service on March 30, 2024, has denied abandoning one of its passengers at its operating airport in London, Gatwick. 

In a statement signed by the airline management, it said it never abandoned any of its passengers at the said airport and repudiated the video it alleged was purportedly made to tarnish the airline’s image. 

“Our attention has been drawn to a video circulating on social media that Air Peace not only abandoned their passengers at Gatwick Airport, but closed their counter before closing time because the aircraft was overbooked on our London-Lagos flight on Monday, April 8, 2024.

“This video recording was a deliberate and malicious attempt to tarnish the image of Air Peace.  In the video, a number of falsehoods were claimed, specifically: firstly, we closed our counter before time. Secondly, we overbooked our flight and our aircraft was full, hence we quickly closed the door and departed for Lagos. Thirdly, take off time was supposed to be 12:00 noon. 

“We want to state categorically that the passenger, who the narrator escorted to the airport, came very late after check-in phase was already concluded and the counter had closed. Gatwick Airport operate by slot timings allocated to each of the airlines operating out of this airport. The check-in operations of airlines are slot-based, and airlines take turns based on their approved times.  Once your slot timing is up, you must vacate the counters for the next airline’s utilisation. The check-in process ends at 09:00am, as advised in the Terms and Conditions section of our e-ticket and website, and the counter was vacated by Air Peace in accordance with our slot allocation at 09:55am. 

“To ensure passengers do not miss their flights, we send them multiple messages at different times before their flight – 24hrs, 14hrs and 6hrs before flight departure. Departure for this flight was scheduled for 11:10am, so all processes needed to adhere to this time,” the airline stated. 

The statement also said: “It was claimed that we overbooked our flight. The UK Civil Aviation Authority and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority can attest to the number of passengers on our manifest for the said flight. The aircraft left Gatwick with some seats unoccupied, so no overbooking took place. 

“Gatwick Airport has CCTV coverage showing the time the passenger arrived at the airport/Air Peace counter and the time the maker of this video got to the airport. The late arriving passenger duly paid the no show fee, was booked to travel on a subsequent flight, and therefore the issue was resolved at the airport. It is disappointing that a different version of what transpired has been circulating. 

“Air Peace will continue to do its best to meet the needs of our passengers,” the statement added.


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