A request by Air France to use its aircraft to evacuate European citizens in Nigeria have been approved by the Nigerian government due to the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Nigerian government had on March 21 barred international flights into the country.
However, the airline on Wednesday March 25, addressed a letter to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria FAAN, requesting its approval to airlift Europeans in the country on Thursday March 26, Thursday April 2 and Thursday April 9.
The letter reads: “Air France hereby submits its request to operate three essential flights on March 26, April 2 and 9, 2020 from Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
“These flights will not disembark any passengers or crew. It is only designed to ensure European citizens return to their homes.”
The Director, Air Transport Management in the Federal Ministry of Aviation, M.S. Noibi, acknowledging the letter, stated, “I am directed to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated March 23, 2020 and to convey the Honourable Minister of Aviation approval for your airline to operate essential flights from Lagos to Paris.
“I am further directed to inform you to undertake the operation strictly based on the protocol guiding this operation under COVID-19 as issued by the Nigerian Aeronautical Authorities.”
Following the approval, MERIDIAN SPY confirms the France airline have started the evacuation of Europeans in the country.
As at Saturday, total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Nigeria is at 97, according to records of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control NCDC.
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