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Air Peace denies abandoning passenger at Gatwick Airport

Air Peace insists the passenger arrived the airport very late after check-in phase was concluded.

Air Peace recently started operating flights to Gatwick in London [Airspace Africa]

Stanley Olisa, Corporate Communications Lead of the airline, stated this in a statement issued on Tuesday in Lagos.

According to Olisa, the airline's explanation became necessary after a video surfaced on social media alleging that it abandoned a Lagos bound passenger at Gatwick Airport.

"The video has claimed that the airline closed its counter before closing time because the aircraft was over booked on the London to Lagos flight, which is false."

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Olisa said that the video was misleading, malicious and an attempt to tarnish the reputation of the airline.

He explained that the passenger arrived the airport very late after check-in phase was concluded and the counter closed according to the approved time of the airport management.

"Gatwick Airport operates by slot timings allocated to each of the airlines operating out of this airport. The check-in operations of airlines are slot-based, and airlines take turns based on their approved times.

"Once your slot timing is up, you must vacate the counters for the next airline's utilisation. The check-in process ends at 9:00 am as advised in the Terms and Conditions section of our e-ticket and website, and the counter was vacated by Air Peace in accordance with our slot allocation at 9:55 am.

"To ensure passengers do not miss their flights, we send them multiple messages at different times before their flight, 24 hours, 14 hours and 6 hours before flight departure.

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"Departure for this flight was scheduled for 11:10 am, so all processes needed to adhere to this time," he clarified.

He further said that contrary to the claim in the video, the UK Civil Aviation Authority and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority could attest to the number of passengers on the manifest for the said flight.

He said that the aircraft left Gatwick with some seats unoccupied, and so, no overbooking took place.

"Gatwick Airport has CCTV coverage showing the time the passenger arrived at the airport and Air Peace counter and the time the maker of this video got to the airport.

"The late arriving passenger duly paid the no show fee, was booked to travel on a subsequent flight, and therefore the issue was resolved at the airport."

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Olisa expressed displeasure that a different version of what transpired had been circulating social media.

He said Air Peace would continue to do its best to meet the needs of passengers, but also required them to align with the airline to ensure they could travel to their destinations by adhering to specified times.

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