By Mustapha Adamu
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has reacted to the reported incident that occurred at Minna airport, Niger State.
Reports were making the rounds on Saturday that a plane conveying over 600 Niger State pilgrims returning from Saudi Arabia had crash landed at the Minna International Airport on Saturday morning.
But, in a swift reaction, the management of the airline company said the aircraft did not crash land, nor skid off the runway.
In a statement signed by Capt. Ibrahim G. Dilli, Director Flight Operations, explained that there was heavy downpour with unstable winds in Minna when the aircraft 747-400, registered 5N-DBK was about to land at the airport from Jeddah, causing the instrument landing system to be epileptic and unstable signals.
According to him, it was by the wealth of experience of the pilots, coupled with the knowledge of the terrain and environment that the plane was able to land safely and stopped on the runway.
However, in its reaction to the incident, NAHCON, through Fatima Sanda Usara,
Head, Public Affairs, said the commission had noticed different versions of reports on Max Air flight NGL 2092 also referred to as Niger iii, which departed Jeddah airport at 2:34 am on 7th September 2019, with 559 Niger pilgrims.
In a statement signed by Mrs Usara, NAHCON said It was the 75th flight on the Commission’s return trip schedule, saying; “NAHCON is pleased to note that the plane landed in Minna safely with all pilgrims securely back to their destinations.”
As for the condition of the plane, the the statement said the commission had been assured by the relevant agencies that investigation is on-going to ascertain the nature of technical fault encountered.
“Therefore while waiting for experts to confirm the real situation of the matter, NAHCON requests the general public to be cautious of misinformation. Already two flights by the same Max Air had taken off and landed in Nigeria the same day. So far, 38, 807 pilgrims have been transported back to Nigeria in 80 flights,” said NAHCON.