One incident sidelined a plane for almost two weeks.
Following an investigation into three aircraft ground collisions involving its aircraft, Air Peace has alleged that the accidents were a deliberate act of sabotage. Let’s take a closer look at this fascinating story below.
Air Peace alleges sabotage
After suffering three ground collisions in the space of a month, Air Peace has concluded that its aircraft were targeted by saboteurs. All the incidents involved aviation service provider Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) – Air Peace alleges that the individuals involved in each incident were not assigned to the aircraft in question and intentionally caused the collisions.
An airline spokesman told Nigerian Flight Deck,
“This is the third time in a month that one of our planes has been down. The NAHCO staff had no reason to be where he was. He was not assigned to the aircraft and how he rammed into our aircraft is still shocking.”
Photo: Adomas Daunoravicius / Shutterstock
As Simple Flying reported last week, Nigerian handling staff were suspended after a vehicle collision with an Air Peace Airbus A320 – the incident, occurring on January 4th, involved a ground vehicle carrying stairs colliding with the aircraft’s elevator. This followed two other ground collision incidents within the last month that has led to a further loss of revenue for the Nigerian carrier.
The most recently affected aircraft (registration: ES-SAZ) had around 10 flights scheduled that day and was pulled from service to receive repairs, significantly disrupting Air Peace’s operations. Data from FlightRadar24.com shows that the plane was out of action for almost two weeks before reentering service on January 17th.
The Air Peace spokesperson added,
“This is going to cause revenue loss for us as an airline. The aircraft was scheduled to operate several flights today (Wednesday) but could not do so, causing flight disruptions and delays.”
NAHCO fires employees
After launching its own investigation into the series of collisions, NAHCO initially suspended and then fired the individuals involved. It is unclear why exactly the individuals would have wanted to deliberately damage Air Peace aircraft, or if the collisions were simply a result of gross negligence.
In a statement first reported by ch-aviation, NAHCO Group Executive Director of Corporate Services, Sola Obabori, said,
“We have invited the relevant regulatory and security agencies to 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 others are being investigated.”
Series of Nigerian incidents
As reported by Nigerian Flight Deck, Nigerian aircraft have been involved in a series of in the past couple of years, revealing a worrying lack of safety standards at the country’s airports.
In November 2021, a Max Air Boeing 737 parked at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport collided with a lavatory service truck operated by Skyway Aviation Handling, followed by another Max Air aircraft almost hitting a van upon landing at Murtala Muhammed International Airport. Just a few weeks later, a speeding vehicle belonging to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) almost crashed into a Dana Air MD 83 that was taxiing before takeoff.
Have you ever heard of a similar incident involving aircraft deliberately damaged by ground crew? Let us know in the comments.
Source: Nigerian Flight Deck, ch-aviation, FlightRadar24.com