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VENTURES AFRICA – The Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has closed the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in the country’s capital, Abuja, to air traffic following a blockade of the runway by a Saudi Airline cargo plane, which developed a technical fault.
According to reports, the Saudi plane, which landed around 9pm on Wednesday, developed a minor problem after it landed.
“NAMA subsequently issued a Notice To Airmen on Thursday morning, meaning that the airport had been closed to both incoming and outbound planes,” Nigerian newspaper, Punch reported earlier today.
As a result, scores of Abuja-bound passengers remain stranded at different airports in other parts of Nigeria – Lagos, Port Harcourt, Uyo, Enugu and Kano among others.
Officials are still battling to fix the grounded cargo plane and clear the runway. However, some local airlines including Arik, Aero, Medview and Overland have cancelled flights.
“All flights have been cancelled temporarily,” the airlines say, adding that operational reasons are responsible for the cancellation.
Some airlines are also reportedly off-loading already checked-in passengers, as travelers wait on information on other options.