Despite the temporary closure of Nigeria international airports, a chartered flight from the United States of America, USA, Monday landed at the Muritala Muhummed International Airport, Lagos with 35 persons aboard. The passengers aboard the flight are Americans working with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
The chartered flight is one of the “essential flights” granted permission by the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Aviation, to land during the suspension of all commercial and private jets movements in the country due to the Corona virus pandemic.
“The letter seeking permission to embark on the flight and land at any of the Nigerian major airports was sent to the Ministry of Aviation for approval and communicated in a letter to the various Aviation agencies to ensure seamless facilitation of the flight”, a ministry official said.
After thorough screening of the American passengers by officials of the Port Health services, they departed on an Air Peace airline chartered flight to Calabar their final destination.
Recall last Thursday , a similar essential flight was done by Air France who evacuated 260 Dutch, French and German nationals resident in Nigeria and wanted to leave the country.
The Air France is expected to evacuate more people on the 2nd and 9th of April, 2020. In the coming weeks more of these evacuations are expected with the permission of the Federal Government through the Minister of Aviation as essential flights.
All international flights have been banned from coming to the country and the four major international airports in Lagos Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano closed to flight operations by the federal government.
Domestic airlines have on their own grounded flight operations across the country to help the government combat the spread of the virus. Currently, no flight operations in the country.