Covid-19: 1,739 Foreigners Evacuated In 10 Days – FAAN
Following the ravaging effects of coronavirus in Nigeria, over 1,739 foreigners have been evacuated from Nigeria despite the ban on airline operations.
Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, revealed this through the Regional Manager, South-West, Mrs. Victoria Shin-Aba, during a press briefing on Tuesday in Lagos.
According to FAAN, says no fewer than 1,739 foreigners have been evacuated from Nigeria through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, since the evacuation exercise began about 10 days ago.
Shin-Aba said; “Since the evacuation exercise commenced with the transportation of French and European citizens by Air France late March, several airlines, including two Nigerian carriers have participated in movement of foreign nationals out of the country” .
“Delta Airlines from the United States (today) on Tuesday afternoon evacuated 200 Americans at the airport in continuation of the exercise.”
Meanwhile, statistics provided by FAAN shows that Air France had evacuated 399 French and European nationals; Lufthansa- 238, six Air Peace crew; Middle East Airline (MEA) 140; Ethiopian Airlines- 148, 137 (Canadians), 375 (U.S); Jed Air- nine (Liberians and crew); Air Peace- 87 and Delta with 200 Americans.
Shin-Aba also noted that the evacuation exercise had been going on smoothly with little or no hitches at all. Stating that FAAN in collaboration with other agencies, would continue to carry out its duties with utmost caution and professionalism.
“The conditions are that you have to get an approval from the Federal Ministry of Aviation, when the Ministry gives the approval, it is sent to FAAN, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.
“We also send the approval to all the security agencies too. Most importantly, there is a procedure in place for the Covid-19 virus pandemic, which has to be followed.
Shin-Aba disclosed that the Port Health Service check everyone going out of the country even as Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) are also on ground. To access the terminal, there are also checks by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and others.
However, she noted that there have been several challenges faced during the evacuation exercise including cancellation of flights which is due to logistics of the flight plan.
FAAN also decried that revenue generation had been affected in recent weeks as the terminals previously handling 23-28 flights have seen their figures dropped drastically to just 10 flights in 10 days.
The Regional Terminal Manager further assured that the aerodrome would once again scale the hurdle of NCAA certification later in the year.