A non-maintenance culture at Asky Airlines is festering at alarming proportions and management’s indifference has left many a customer and even staff wondering whether the aircraft is special purposed death trap, a plane or an Okada-a local name for motor cycles used for commercial purposes.
Last 7 January, 2020, Asky flight KP022 from Togo to Ghana and Banjul nearly cost its passengers their lives. While boarding the flight, some of the customers said they could see tools and the side of the plane opened, a clear indication that the flight had an engineering problem, but the attendants asked them to board and that the situation was under control, which they obliged.
“Then the whole plane started reeking of exhaust fumes,” a passenger on the aircraft told this paper.
Read the ordeal of the passenger who spoke to us on condition of anonymity: I ask a flight attendant if that was normal and he told me it’s because they had just started the plane. I asked him if the plane was trotro or Okada that we smell exhaust fumes but he only grinned and left. So they tried moving and the plane just jerked and staled. Then the AC went off and the plane was hot, hot, and hot.
The situation was said to be so degenerate that one of the staff announced that the technician was working on it. “They tried moving again, and the plane stalls. The AC stops again, they start it and it stops again so some of us start shouting,” another passenger narrated.
Then they tried to take off and right at the point of going airborne, the passengers say the pilot snapped it back with speed. “Some of us start shouting that we want to be let off the plane immediately. Then thy taxied back and let us out.”
Back and forth management assured it was fixing the problem but the passengers said they would not get on the plane again. “We are here and they are not telling us anything. We have not eaten and we are all frustrated. Just check the manifest for the 12.50 Asky flight to Ghana and you can ask anyone on the flight what happened,” another passenger told this paper amidst the mistreatment from Asky management.
Meanwhile, since last week, Asky management have not been forthcoming with any response on the ordeal it passengers went through. Not even an apology. When this paper called their office for their response, Eric Dunyo, who identified himself as the marketing officer told this paper that management was going to get in touch with the paper on Friday but that response never came. Stay tuned for more.
By Jack Hart