Arik Air has clarified and given reasons why it cancelled a scheduled flight out of Port Harcourt on April 2. According to the company, this was due to adverse weather conditions.

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Arik Air made this position known via a statement signed by the Public Relations Manager, Adebanji Ola, on Thursday.

The company has come under criticism following viral videos showing passengers of Arik Air expressing frustration over being left stranded at Port Harcourt Airport after their flight to Lagos was abruptly cancelled.

Nonetheless, the airline extended its apologies to customers whose travel plans were disrupted by the unforeseen circumstances, reaffirming its dedication to prioritising passenger welfare.

According to Arik, “We are aware of a recent video or story circulated by Sahara Reporters alleging that passengers were left stranded at Port Harcourt Airport under our care. It is imperative that we provide clarity on this matter to rectify any misconceptions.

“In the evening of Tuesday, April 2, 2024, our flight W3 744 Lagos-Port Harcourt was compelled to make an air return due to adverse weather conditions, specifically heavy rainfall and thunderstorms in Port Harcourt. Consequently, both the Lagos-Port Harcourt (W3 744) and Port Harcourt-Lagos (W3 745) flights had to be cancelled.

“It is crucial to note that by the time of the cancellation, our banking facilities at the airport had ceased operations, rendering refunds unfeasible at that moment. However, the passengers were promptly briefed on the situation and advised to return the following day for re-protection on available flights.”

It added that on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, all the affected passengers from both Lagos and Port Harcourt were successfully accommodated on available morning and evening flights.”