Dana Air has said that a passenger was responsible for the unauthorised opening of one of its aircraft exit doors after landing and still taxing at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
A statement by the airline’s Communications Manager, Kingsley Ezenwa, said that a thorough investigation of the passenger allegedly involved in the incident was ongoing.
According to reports credited to some online media, the incident which occurred on Wednesday morning, created panic among the passengers aboard the aircraft.
The statement said: “We wish to state categorically that this could never have happened without a conscious effort by a passenger to open it.
“By design, the emergency exit door of our aircraft is plug-type backed by pressure, which ordinarily cannot fall off without tampering or conscious effort to open by a crew member or passenger.
“We also wish to enlighten the author that when an aircraft is airborne, it is fully pressurised and there was no way the seat or door could have been ‘shaking’ as insinuated.”
However, Ezenwa said a thorough inspection was carried out on the said aircraft upon landing in Abuja by the airline’s engineers and a team from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and that no issue was reported.
He said: “There was also no threat to safety at any point.
“The flight was only delayed for eight minutes as we needed to demonstrate to the regulators that the safety and comfort of our guests is at the centre of our operations.
“We wish to apologise to our guests for any inconvenience such report may have caused and for the slight delay on the return service to Lagos.
“A thorough investigation of the concerned passenger is ongoing.”
Ezenwa said Dana Air, as one of the oldest and most experienced airlines in Nigeria, remained committed to global best practices.