UK denies Air Peace landing permit for evacuation of stranded Nigerians

The British Government has refused to grant Diplomatic Landing Clearance to Air Peace Limited for the purpose of evacuating Nigerians, who are stranded in the United Kingdom.

This was disclosed in a statement by the spokesperson of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand Nwonye this Sunday.

The statement explained that the flight which was earlier scheduled to depart on Monday, July 13 from London Heathrow has now been rescheduled to Tuesday July 14 from Gatwick Airport London.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, in series of tweets from his verified Twitter handle explained reasons behind the rescheduled evacuation flight from the United Kingdom.

He said that having been allowed to carry out one very successful evacuation of Nigerians from London at very low fares, Air Peace in coordination with the Nigerian government and full knowledge of the UK authorities scheduled two additional flights.

Onyeama added: “All the arrangements were made including payments, only for the UK authorities to withdraw landing rights close to departure despite strong representations by the Nigerian Government including pointing out the hardship that would be caused to hundreds of Nigerian evacuees.

“Air Peace could have just refunded the passengers but exceptionally, patriotically and altruistically agreed to find an alternative carrier acceptable to the UK authorities to carry out the evacuation a day later than scheduled but for much higher fares.”

“The Nigerian Government will review its Air agreements with various countries as a result of the unacceptable treatment of Nigerian carriers during this pandemic.”
Onyeama noted that these higher fares could legitimately have been passed on to the evacuees but Air Peace bore this huge cost itself.”

He said the explanation became imperative in order to let the aggrieved evacuees know that the objects of their grievances should neither be Air Peace nor the Nigerian government.

The minister said they should rather be eternally grateful to Air Peace.

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