Arik Air on Monday apologised to its passengers over the delay in arrival of some of their baggage from London to Nigeria.
The airline issued the apology in a statement signed by its communications manager, Mr Olayinka Adebanji and obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
NAN reports that some of the affected passengers had filed complaints with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority over the incident.
However, the airline, in the statement, explained what led to the delay.
It said:”Over the past three days, Arik Air has been using a smaller aircraft, a Boeing 737-800, to operate the Lagos-London Heathrow route due to maintenance on the wide-body A330-200 aircraft allocated on the route.
“One of the airline’s Airbus A330-200 aircraft had been hit by a handling company at John F Kennedy International Airport New York on Dec. 1, consequently triggering the B737-800 to be deployed on the Lagos-London route.
“In order to avoid cancellation of the Lagos-London Heathrow flights, an alternative B737-800 aircraft had to be allocated on the route to minimise the inconvenience to booked passengers.”
The airline said it was constrained in capacity following the change from a wide-body A330-200 aircraft to a narrow-body B737-800 aircraft and thus had to leave some of the passengers’ baggage behind in London.
It said passengers were however duly informed of this capacity restriction at the check-in desk at London Heathrow Airport.
The airline said that the passengers were advised of the possibility that some of their baggage would have to be sent on subsequent flights as per space availability.
“Arik Air offers the most generous in-cabin and checked in baggage allowance on the route and due to capacity restrictions on the smaller B737-800 aircraft.
“The airline has had to drop some of the baggage in order to accommodate maximum number of passengers.
“To this end, an extra aircraft was also operated to London Heathrow on Sunday, Dec.4 to accommodate all passengers and some outstanding baggage.
“Passengers have been assured that all the backlog of their baggage would arrive in Lagos on Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 6 and 7, respectively,” it said.
Arik Air said it regretted any inconvenience this development might have caused its esteemed guests.
It appealed to them to show some understanding and not to resort to damaging the airline’s properties and disrupting its operations.