By Adedayo Akinwale
The United Kingdom has announced that the evacuation of its citizens from Nigeria begins on Saturday April 18, 2020.
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Senior Press and Public Affairs Officer of the embassy, Christopher Ogunmodede, said that the British government had made arrangements with British Airways to run charter flights from Nigeria.
She stated: “I’m really pleased to tell you that we have now made arrangements with British Airways to run charter flights for us from Nigeria. The first flights will depart this Saturday the 18th of April, and the flight departure times are 15:10 from Lagos and 15:35 from Abuja. Of course the exact times could be subject to change.
“We’ve made arrangements with a company called Central Travel Management who have set up a dedicated webpage for Nigeria and a 24/7 hotline to reserve and pay for tickets. The link to those webpages are: For Abuja, https://etm.eventsair.com/nigeriafco/fco-abujacharter729/Site/Register; and for Lagos: https://etm.eventsair.com/nigeriafco/fco-lagos718-charter/Site/Register
The High Commissioner said that the price for these flights would be under £500.
She added, ” To be eligible for these flights you need to be a British citizen normally resident in the UK and we will be prioritising vulnerable people. When you book, you will be asked for your passport details and a UK address and we will be doing eligibility checks.”
Laing however clarified that making a booking does not automatically guarantee a seat on the first flight, but if the applicant is not eligible, the applicant would be transferred to a subsequent flight.
“With regards to the questions on getting to the airport, it is very important that you print and take your ticket with you, and if you are stopped at checkpoints, show that to security personnel and make it clear that you are going to the airport to take a repatriation flight to the UK.”
The High Commissioner noted that those who are successful in making bookings, would be sent e-mail with all the details they need including the time they would need to be at the airport.