Birds strike Saturday night forced a Medview Airline to abort a Saudi bound flight at Ilorin airport.
In a statement, the airline said the B767 aircraft carrying 222 pilgrims was taxiing for takeoff when it was struck by a brood of birds forcing the pilot to abort the flight.
The 222 pilgrims were de boarded without incident, and arrangements are being made to provide another aircraft to airlift them on Sunday.
The airline assured all pilgrims that the schedule for their airlift to the Holy Land will not be affected by the incident.
Meanwhile, the airline last night flew a team of engineers and rotables to Ilorin to get the aircraft back to service.
Speaking earlier with journalists in Ilorin at the weekend, the MD/CEO of the Med-View airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole, said that Nigeria had grown beyond getting involved in some certain business concerns.
“On issue of National Carrier for the country, I will say Nigeria needed not to get involved. We’ve grown beyond issue of government getting involved in certain things. I was in Nigeria airways for about 30 years. So, I can tell you why airlines fail. 80 percent is government interference. When you own something and you’re not adding to it, it will collapse. Or when you set up a business and there’s no professional or competent hands to run it, it will fail. The allegiance of people you put there are to those who put them there. I put you there, you give me something in return and nothing for development of the project. That’s why business concerns collapse everyday”, he said.
The aviation expert, who said there were only four standard airports; Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt and Kaduna airports, out of 27 airports in the country, added that the nation’s airports should be developed to attract investment.
“Tourists should be able to even develop what’s called airport investment in every country, for instance, where you have restaurant, stores, etc to boost tourism. Situation in some of our local airport is unfortunate. We should commercialise and privatise our airports, and other government businesses so that private investors could come in to bring about the required difference”, he said.
He said every airline stakeholder should aim to set certain standard when starting the business or when planning to stay in the business. “We should be able to comply with rules of the game and be committed effective to operations, to be honest, sincere and prayerful.
Alhaji Bankole, who described 2017 hajj operations between the NAHCON and Med-View airline as fulfilment of promise made, said that ” once you hold on to promise made, your life will be smooth.
He commended various pilgrims boards in each state of concern, saying success of every operations starts from the beginning. For instance, securing visas for passengers, and other arrangement to get pilgrims ready.