Harmattan: Hazy Weather Grounds Flights, Leaves Passengers Stranded

Hundreds of passengers were left stranded at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos, yesterday, following incessant flight delays and cancellations caused by the harmattan dust haze which hung across many parts of the country.

At about 4pm yesterday, fears that flights will remain cancelled were by no means abated as the weather condition continued to worsen. Passengers at the airport bemoaned the situation, stating that the development has prevented them from celebrating the holidays with their loved ones.

A passenger travelling to Port Harcourt who was interviewed at the domestic Terminal 2, of the airport, said he had a flight which was scheduled for 8 a.m. but was later cancelled.

“I came here since morning. This is afternoon and I am just being told that the flight has been cancelled because of weather,” he said.
It was gathered that most airlines could not operate their morning flights as a result of the harmattan dust haze as they were required to get minimum visibility before an aircraft could take off.”

Information gathered by Daily Trust reveals that Azman Air, an airline based in Kano State, had most of its flights headed to Kano, Kaduna and Maiduguri all cancelled because of the harmattan haze.


Manager of Azman Air in Abuja, Mr. Abdullahi Saroke, said the information obtained from the weather office, which showed poor visibility for Kano and Yola led to the decision to cancel flights to the region.

Speaking on the visibility level, Mr. Saroke said, Yola and Kano recorded a visibility below 400 meters which was below the 1000 meters minimum visibility required by the civil aviation regulation for landing.

Still on flight cancellation, Med-View flights to Enugu, Port Harcourt and Yola were also cancelled while her flight flights to Maiduguri were delayed for over 6 hours.

Abuja recorded a visibility level of 800 metres in the morning which led to flights to and fro Abuja being delayed. However, as the visibility level increased around noon, flights began to take off.


Kingsley Ukpai

I write, I write and I keep writing... Most importantly, I make sure everything I write makes sense!

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