System outages delay passengers’ check-in at Lagos airport

System outages at the Murtala Muhammed International airport Lagos have continued to frustrate and delay checking-in passengers.

Passengers spend as many as three hours in queues as airlines check-in travellers manually due to system outages which airport authorities have failed to resolve for some weeks now.

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BusinessDay’s findings earlier show that the Lagos International Airport has been operating manually because the Societe International Telecommunication Aeronautiques (SITA), which provides Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE), withdrew its services and the company, Arlington -RESA Airport Management Solution, which was supposed to replace SITA, was yet to install its own equipment to migrate airlines to the new system.

As a result, airline staff have been handwriting boarding passes and bag tags as some international airlines had to get an alternate option by using their own system and luggage printers.

Daily check-in for hundreds of international air travellers to various destinations has since continued to be delayed for several hours.

A message by Virgin Atlantic to one of its passengers reads, “please arrive at the airport as early as possible for flight VS412, 26 July. We are experiencing check-in delays due to local system outage.”

In a similar message sent by British Airways to one of its customers it stated, “Due to airport system technical difficulties, we encourage you to arrive at the airport early to ensure a smooth airport check-in experience. Please have all your travel documentation ready to hand before arriving at check-in.

A source close to the airport authority told BusinessDay that the current challenge maybe because the Lagos airport is owing to its service providers.

But Henrietta Yakubu, general manager, corporate affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN), said FAAN held a meeting with RESA last month and RESA is currently on the ground deploying their pieces of equipment.

Yakubu assured that RESA would be starting operations the first week in August.

She said that while the migration is taking place, FAAN also has provided ICTS for airlines to use as a backup in the meantime, adding that airlines that are still processing manually are not using the alternate option provided by FAAN.

Yakubu had earlier told BusinessDay that SITA promised to be on the ground for six months and then pulled out after a few months just to embarrass FAAN because they were already aware that FAAN was not going to renew their contract.

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