Hundreds of air travellers stranded at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Friday, fought to secure tickets in a bid to travel out of the city for the weekend.
The few airlines that were operating on the domestic routes, claimed that they were fully booked as some passengers struggled to get tickets.
The situation followed the suspension of flights by Arik Air on Thursday after its operations were grounded by unions operating in the aviation sector.
The unions said they undertook the action to get Arik and other debtor airlines to pay their debts.
Following the development, only three airlines — IRS, Aero and Overland — have continued to operate.
One of the stranded passengers, Harrison Maduike, attributed the situation to the latest development in the aviation sector following the DANA plane crash of June 3 that has yet to resume flight operations and Arik Airline that was shutdown on Thursday.
Many of the passengers that were stranded in Abuja were those travelling to Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt, while passengers travelling to other destinations such as Enugu and Ibadan went by Overland.
Another passenger, Mike Ozurumba, said he was ready to buy any airline ticket at any amount to Port Harcourt in order to meet up with an emergency meeting.
“The situation would have not been worst if the other airlines were to be working; but whatever decision the government has taken concerning any of the airlines is regarded as the best even though it is affecting us; I believe it is for a while,” he said.
“I wanted to travelled urgently this morning with an Aero airline by 11:20 a.m. but I was amazed when an airline staff told me the seats were fully booked from now till Monday. IRS also said the only available seats are for Monday and that they are not even going to Port Harcourt but Lagos and I have an emergency meeting in my constituency today (Friday). Some of the passengers who had even booked before me and came late were advised to reschedule their flights against next week.”