Medview airline conveying over 222 pilgrims from Ilorin International Airport to Saudi Arabia had to abort its flight which was struck by broods of birds while it was taking off. The incident occurred around 8 pm. The Muslim pilgrims who were not hurt by the incident were immediately de-boarded.
Following the delay the incident had caused to the pilgrims, the airline had to arrange a Boeing 747 aircraft to airlift the 460 pilgrims including the affected ones.
In a Statement issued by Medview Airline media consultant, Mr. Obuke Oyibotha, “Birds strike on Saturday night forced a Medview Airline to abort a Saudi bound flight at Ilorin airport. The B767 aircraft carrying 222 pilgrims was taxiing for take-off when it was struck by a brood of birds forcing the pilot to abort the flight.
“The 222 pilgrims were de-boarded without incident, and arrangements were made to provide another aircraft to airlift them. The airline assured all pilgrims that the schedule for their airlift to the Holy Land will not be affected by the incident. The airline on Saturday night flew a team of engineers and notables to Ilorin to get the aircraft back to service.”
The Managing Director of Medview Airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole, who also confirmed the incident said the airline will airlift between 11,000 and 12,000 pilgrims nationwide for this year’s pilgrimage to Mecca, Over 675 pilgrims had already been lifted from the Ilorin International Airport, while 460 pilgrims departed from the airport about 12.30pm on Thursday and 215 pilgrims of the second batch were also airlifted.
The airline would also be airlifting pilgrims from Ondo and Ekiti states with three categories of aircraft made a promised to his passengers to maintain its adherence to safety standards and convenience.