UK Evacuates 304 More Britons from Nigeria

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Chinedu Eze

The United Kingdom yesterday evacuated another batch of its citizens from Nigeria through Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos.

A British Airways Boeing B747 with registration mark BAW 9156, airlifted 304 passengers, including 21 crew members to Heathrow Airport, London.

The flight took off at about 4.45 p.m local time and the UK High Commission said the final batch of the airlift would take place on May 8. So far, the UK has evacuated a total of about 1,699 citizens from Nigeria since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the closure of airports.

THISDAY learnt that each passenger paid £477.50 from Abuja and £490.50 from Lagos, according to information on the UK Mission’s website.

Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, explained that the aircraft that would airlift the last batch of UK citizens on May 8, would bring in about 300 Nigerians who wished to return home from that country.

A statement from the UK Mission said the flights were made possible by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Transportation and Aviation, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Lagos State authorities.

The British High Commissioner, Mrs. Catriona Laing, stated that to be eligible for all flights, the primary residence has to be in the UK, adding that they prioritised helping the most vulnerable and those who have an underlying medical condition placing them at greater risk of serious illness if they contract COVID-19.