I don't think it has anything to do with Virgin:
Nigeria: Federal Government Grounds British Airways Flight
Daily Champion (Lagos)
June 23, 2006
Posted to the web June 23, 2006
Felix Nwaneri And Odinaka Uruakpa
FEDERAL Government, yesterday grounded British Airways (BA) Boeing 747 aircraft at the Muhammed International Airport, Lagos for violating operational guidelines.
Government, it was learnt, withheld permission for the aircraft to return to London, having landed in Lagos Wednesday night.
A source at the Lagos Airport who pleaded for anonymity told Daily Champion that federal government's action might have been prompted by non-adherence by BA
to new directive on frequency allocated to it.
Government, it would be recalled recently directed BA
to only operate seven daily evening flights per week on the Lagos-London route as well as seven daily morning flights per week on the Abuja-London route.
Before the directive, the British carrier operates 14 weekly flights (morning and evening) on the Lagos-London route.
But the airline appealed to the government for more time to meet the directive, though it described it as a contravention to the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between the United Kingdom and Nigeria.
According to an official of the airline, Federal Government's insistence on full and immediate compliance to the order will amount to thousands of its passengers, who had already booked for flights.
Reacting to yesterday's development, BA
in a statement issued by SY
and T Communications said that the aircraft, which was refused permission to fly back to London had left Heathrow Airport before the airline received government's directive for it not to be operated.
According to the statement, the flight continued and landed in Lagos, where all passengers were allowed to disembark.
"Last year the Nigerian government gave British Airways permission to fly three extra services a week, taking the total from one a day to 10 a week.
The Nigerian government wrote to us in March advising that it wished to discuss whether we should continue with the three additional Lagos flights. There has been ongoing discussions with the government since that time over the potential withdrawal of these services.
"Until now, we have had no clarity over whether we should continue to operate or not. As we already had booked passengers booked on the flights are have continued to operate them.
"Yesterday (Wednesday) we received a letter from the government, advising us not to operate the flight. However, the flight had already, departed London.
Full article: http://allafrica.com/stories/200606230509.html
[Edited 2006-06-24 17:28:17]