Over 90 percent of members of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), its entire leadership and the airline 10-man crew on board,were expectedly on panic mode, wednesday as landing at Asaba International Airport was averted mid-noon yesterday by the Air Peace Airline.
The panic mid air was heightened by the fact that before take off the pilot had said the weather was bad and he made a judgement call not to fly yet. After almost 5hours delay, and a lot of pressure, it boarded.
It could not land in Asaba due to poor visibility occasioned by weather.
The Airline Boeing 73/7500 loaded with members of the glamorous advertising profession who were on their way to attend the 46th annual general meeting of AAAN, their umbrella body today.
Event would have held between Thursday, 11th to Saturday, 13th July
In order not to overshoot the run-way due to poor visibility, the pilot returned to Lagos, its original base after another consideration to divert the flight to Benin also proved unsuccessful because of the heavy downpour that caused poor visibility.
Similarly, subsequent flights to Asaba by the Peace Airline yesterday were promptly cancelled by the management of the airline over safety consideration. The development left most passengers due to board the airline stranded. Most of the intending passengers of the cancelled flights were members of the advertising association.
Now, the leadership of AAAN has decided to postpone its earlier scheduled yearly general meeting.
Billed to deliver the key note address at the aborted AGM is the Vice-Chairman of Troyka Holdings, and former CEO of Insight Redefini, Mr. Jimi Awosika.
Commenting on the incident that forced AAAN to postpone the AGM, President of the august body, Mr. Ikechi Odigbo said, “it was quite unfortunate to be taken, but thanked God the industry and indeed the nation did not witness any disaster due to airplane landing
“Considering the fact that Air Peace just emerged from an unpalatable incident at Port Harcourt airport recently, the pilot was being careful not to allow any unforeseen situation to happen, that to me was a wise decision,” he confirmed.
Asaba Airport is an airport serving Asaba, the capital of Delta State of Nigeria. It also serves Onitsha, across the Niger River in Anambra State.
The airport was opened with great expectations in 2013 but rapid deterioration of the new run-way forced NCAA to lock it down for a long time after which it was refurbished and was re-opened.
Meanwhile, the Association has been counting its costs as the management of the hotel where the event was billed to hold has only agreed to refund only 50% of earlier funds deposits. A new date is yet to be fixed for the aborted yearly event as all other members who had earlier travelled to Asaba were on their way back.