By Our Reporter
Foreign Airlines may have started boycotting the nation’s capital over terror alerts issued by some foreign countries.
It would be recalled that foreign missions in Nigeria issued security alerts over likely terrorist attack on Abuja.
The embassies of Denmark, Ireland, Bulgaria, Finland and Germany in Abuja also joined United States and the United Kingdom to issue similar alerts following advisories warning of risk of terror attacks in Abuja.
Also, the US Department of State in a further escalation of the threat approved the departure of its citizens willing to leave Nigeria due to the alert. The US embassy also suspended consular services in Abuja.
On account of this development, British airways cancelled its flight which was expected to arrive in Abuja in the early hours of Saturday.
The development comes after a BA83 flight from London-Heathrow to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, was suddenly diverted to Lagos.
However, passengers affected by the cancellation and diversion have lamented that there was no adequate notice.
Passengers also said that the airline did not provide any reason for the decision, but said the diversion might not be unconnected with the terror alert in Abuja, with several foreign missions issuing travel warnings to their citizens.
It was further gathered that after BA brought Abuja-bound passengers to Lagos on Thursday, the passengers, mostly Nigerians, refused to disembark, and insisted on the flight terminating in Abuja.
One of the passengers who wrote in a WhatsApp group said, “When they refused and insisted on the flight terminating in Abuja as contracted, the crew threatened to launch tear gas at the mostly Nigerian passengers right in the plane.
“They had been telling people on board since they boarded last night, Abuja. Why must you go to that place! After an uproarious session and an hour on ground, the plane finally took off and arrived in Abuja around 11am.
“There is a lot of mischief afoot on this terror attack warning and it smells like we need to talk less and pull out antennae to their highest gain heights. This is not just a terror warning; there is more schemes and actions of enemies within and without.”
The Abuja-bound flight which was supposed to depart London by 10 p.m and arrive by 4:40 am on Saturday has been cancelled.
This was also shown on the flight radar, which indicated that the Abuja-bound flights for Friday and Saturday had been cancelled.
But the return flight from Abuja to London departed normally, it was learnt.
Efforts to make the Regional Commercial Manager Nigeria & Ghana, British Airways, Adetutu Otuyalo, react to the development were unsuccessful as SMS sent to her phone were not replied as at the time of filing this report.